We continue our “Series in “Genesis“
BEFORE READING GENESIS 11, I RECOMMEND READING JOHN GILL’S INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS
Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC: The pedigree and family of Abram we had an account of in the foregoing chapter; here the Holy Ghost enters upon his story, and henceforward Abram and his seed are almost the only subject of the sacred history. In this chapter we have, I. God’s call of Abram to the land of Canaan (v. 1-3). II. Abram’s obedience to this call (v. 4, 5). III. His welcome to the land of Canaan (v. 6-9). IV. His journey to Egypt, with an account of what happened to him there. Abram’s flight and fault (v. 10-13). Sarai’s danger and deliverance (v. 14-20).
|Genesis chapter 12 Simplified Outline|
|Ge 12:1-3.||God calls Abram and blesses him with a promise of Christ.|
|Ge 12:4-5.||He departs with Lot from Haran and comes to Canaan.|
|Ge 12:6.||He journeys through Canaan,|
|Ge 12:7-9.||which is promised to him in a vision.|
|Ge 12:10.||He is driven by famine into Egypt.|
|Ge 12:11-13.||Fear makes him feign his wife to be his sister.|
|Ge 12:14-17.||Pharaoh, having taken her from him, by plagues is compelled to restore her.|
|Ge 12:18-20.||He reproves Abram, whom he dismisses.|
At the end of the preceding chapter, we meet Abram the son of Terah. Abram is one of the most important people in Biblical history, his name means ‘the father is exalted’. His name will be changed to ‘Abraham,’ which means ‘father of a multitude’ when God initiates His covenant with him (Genesis 17).
As with much of the Old Covenant Genesis 12 is a test of faith, one that Abram regrettably fails. The short version of the story is God tells Abram to go to Egypt, he does but being afraid for his wife tells everyone she is his sister (no faith in God’s providence/plan) The pharaoh is smitten and marries her, God has to intervene and Abram and party are booted out of Egypt. Yet God still chooses to use him in a great and mighty way (Gen 17).
The lesson here is a simple one, every time we try and ‘step in and help God’ we just screw things up. Do not mistake my meaning, I am not one of those who advocates, “let go and let God” at every turn. God expects us to do our part, this was true in the Garden and true about our faith Genesis 2:15, James 2:14-26. What I am saying is we need not try and change or add to God’s plan. Most folks are familiar with the warning at the end of the Bible not to add or subtract from it, however, it is not a new command as it is found in the Torah also, Revelation 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4:1-3. We can find many examples in Biblical history of those who tried to add a little of their own to God’s commands, Mosses with the rock and Jonah trying to escape, may be the most familiar. God does not need our help, He is SOVEREIGN, His plans are perfect we just need to be obedient.
Pray for grace to direct and quicken me to, and to strengthen and assist me in, my duty, in the whole course of my life.
Let the grace of God, which has appeared, bringing salvation for me and for all people, effectually train me to renounce all ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live a self-controlled, upright, and godly life in this present age, waiting for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of my great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for his people to redeem them from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14(ESV)
You have said, “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5(ESV) Lord, I want wisdom; make me wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove, Matthew 10:16(ESV) that wisdom may make my face shine, Ecclesiastes 8:1(ESV) and may be better to me than weapons of war. Ecclesiastes 9:18(ESV)
Enable me to walk in wisdom towards outsiders, making the best use of the time. Colossians 4:5(ESV)
Give me to order all my affairs with discretion and to behave myself wisely, to ponder the way that is blameless and to walk with integrity of heart. Psalm 101:2(ESV)