January 16, Genesis 12-15

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12 The Lord said to Abram:
Go out from your land,your relatives,and your father’s houseto the land that I will show you.I will make you into a great nation,I will bless you,I will make your name great,and you will be a blessing.I will bless those who bless you,I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt,and all the peoples[a] on earthwill be blessed[b] through you.[c]So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated, and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the site of Shechem, at the oak of Moreh. (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.) The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He built an altar to the Lord there, and he called on the name of the Lord. Then Abram journeyed by stages to the Negev.

Abram in Egypt

10 There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to stay there for a while because the famine in the land was severe. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me but let you live. 13 Please say you’re my sister so it will go well for me because of you, and my life will be spared on your account.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh, so the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s household. 16 He treated Abram well because of her, and Abram acquired flocks and herds, male and female donkeys, male and female slaves, and camels.
17 But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh sent for Abram and said, “What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister,’ so that I took her as my wife? Now, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave his men orders about him, and they sent him away with his wife and all he had.

Abram and Lot Separate

13 Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev—he, his wife, and all he had, and Lot with him. Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. He went by stages from the Negev to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly been, to the site where he had built the altar. And Abram called on the name of the Lord there.
Now Lot, who was traveling with Abram, also had flocks, herds, and tents. But the land was unable to support them as long as they stayed together, for they had so many possessions that they could not stay together, and there was quarreling between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. (At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land.)
So Abram said to Lot, “Please, let’s not have quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, since we are relatives.[d]Isn’t the whole land before you? Separate from me: if you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.”
10 Lot looked out and saw that the entire plain[e] of the Jordan as far as[f] Zoar was well watered everywhere like the Lord’s garden and the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose the entire plain of the Jordan for himself. Then Lot journeyed eastward, and they separated from each other. 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, but Lot lived in the cities on the plain and set up his tent near Sodom. 13 (Now the men of Sodom were evil, sinning immensely[g] against the Lord.)
14 After Lot had separated from him, the Lord said to Abram, “Look from the place where you are. Look north and south, east and west, 15 for I will give you and your offspring forever all the land that you see. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Get up and walk around the land, through its length and width, for I will give it to you.”
18 So Abram moved his tent and went to live near the oaks of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord.

Abram Rescues Lot

14 In those days King Amraphel of Shinar, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim[h]waged war against King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, and King Shemeber of Zeboiim, as well as the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). All of these came as allies to the Siddim Valley (that is, the Dead Sea). They were subject to Chedorlaomer for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the Horites in the mountains of Seir, as far as El-paran by the wilderness. Then they came back to invade En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they defeated the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar.
Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and lined up for battle in the Siddim Valley against King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar—four kings against five. 10 Now the Siddim Valley contained many asphalt pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them,[i] but the rest fled to the mountains. 11 The four kings took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food and went on. 12 They also took Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, for he was living in Sodom, and they went on.
13 One of the survivors came and told Abram the Hebrew, who lived near the oaks belonging to Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eshcol and the brother of Aner. They were bound by a treaty with[j] Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken prisoner, he assembled[k] his 318 trained men, born in his household, and they went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 And he and his servants deployed against them by night, defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah to the north of Damascus. 16 He brought back all the goods and also his relative Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the other people.

Melchizedek’s Blessing

17 After Abram returned from defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the Shaveh Valley (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 Melchizedek, king of Salem,[l] brought out bread and wine; he was a priest to God Most High. 19 He blessed him and said:
Abram is blessed by God Most High,Creator[m] of heaven and earth,20 and blessed be God Most Highwho has handed over your enemies to you.And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people, but take the possessions for yourself.”
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand in an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread or sandal strap or anything that belongs to you, so you can never say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will take nothing[n] except what the servants have eaten. But as for the share of the men who came with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre—they can take their share.”

The Abrahamic Covenant

15 After these events, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
Do not be afraid, Abram.I am your shield;your reward will be very great.
But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me, since I am childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” [o]Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a slave born in[p] my house will be my heir.”
Now the word of the Lord came to him: “This one will not be your heir; instead, one who comes from your own body[q] will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “Your offspring will be that numerous.”
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
He also said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”
But he said, “Lord God, how can I know that I will possess it?”
He said to him, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
10 So he brought all these to him, cut them in half, and laid the pieces opposite each other, but he did not cut the birds in half. 11 Birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was setting, a deep sleep came over Abram, and suddenly great terror and darkness descended on him.
13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know this for certain: Your offspring will be resident aliens for four hundred years in a land that does not belong to them and will be enslaved and oppressed.[r]14 However, I will judge the nation they serve, and afterward they will go out with many possessions. 15 But you will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”[s]
17 When the sun had set and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch appeared and passed between the divided animals. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “I give this land to your offspring, from the Brook of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River: 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hethites, Perizzites, Rephaim, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”

God, in Genesis 10-11 has been dealing with nations, but now he focuses in on one man, Abram. Abram is God’s choice and God will bless him. He tells Abram this at the beginning of chapter 12; “I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”

In Chapter 15, Abraham asks a question of God…How can I be a blessing if I have no offspring? Will it come from my slave’s bloodline? God answers him and tells him “No, he will be your heir.” We find Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.

In Hebrews 11:8 we find this: “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, even though he did not know where he was going.” We will see in tomorrow’s reading that Abraham got a little ahead of God and God’s promises. Do you ever get ahead of God? Do you get impatient when waiting on God? It is quite natural…but let me say what I have said over and over again throughout the readings…Trust God! He will not fail you!

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