If you got a little behind in Job, tuck it away for now and stay with us in Genesis! Here is a video to recap Job you can watch later. Video.
- Click here for the Reading
- Click here for an audio version
- Click here if you missed last night’s overview
Chapter 12: Abram is told to “Go”. He lives in the Ur of Chaldean. Ur, located in modern-day Iraq, was the world’s hub of culture, power, and wealth. Abram was told to leave this county, these people, and this comfortable household….and he did. THEN, the Lord made him a promise at the age of 75:
“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
ALL peoples on earth will be blessed THROUGH you. This is why we are going to follow every genealogy until Christ. If you did not read last night’s overview, there is the genealogy in the ‘printables’ you will want to peek at. Let’s now look at the map:
Let’s begin our traveling. Abram follows the caravan roads (rather than cutting through the desert) Here are some notes if interesting:
- Haran: Hebrew word: the road
- Canaan: which is Israel today. Go back to Genesis 9, the son of Noah: Ham.
- Shechem: Hebrew words: shoulder of the mountain.
- Bethel: House of God (El=God). This is where Jacob will see the stairway to heaven.
- Ai- means Ruin…hmmm
- Negev-this is where Isaac is going to be born
- Hebron- this is where Abraham is going to be buried
- He builds an altar to the Lord. Altars are built for 2 reasons-
- 1.) for offering a sacrifice
- 2.) as a place of remembrance.
So if he built an altar to the Lord remembering his promise…but does he fully trust it? I don’t recall God telling him to go to Egypt. THEN, he takes his smoking hot wife into the land. It was known in those times that if Pharaoh wanted to have a “conjugal prison visit, if you know what I mean” with your wife, he would just kill you and take her (or like David, send them to war….insert sad face) So Abram says, “Tell them I am your brother”. I am still trying to figure out if Sarai is born from Abram’s brother Nahor which would make this a “white lie” since cousin and sister are interchangeably in their language. Anyway….focus Szymanski!!
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
Sorry, Pharoah….you didn’t know about this Promise…
Chapter 13: As the elder person, Abram would have been fully within his rights to decide who gets what portion of land. Abram voluntarily lets Lot choose. Lot chooses the plain of Jordan (right on the edge of a party town: Sodom so he can Uber over for some fun)
God PROMISES again in 13:14 the promises he made to him: I will give you this land and I will give you children. Abram makes another altar.
I know this is getting long, I am sorry…Chapter 14, cliff note version: Five cities formed an alliance to fight for their independence against an alliance of 4 cities (this is like Game of Thrones!) and in the midst of it all Lot (who now has MOVED to the city) gets taken a P.O.W. So here is how awesome God is: He takes Abram and a mere 318 men…against thousands, ambushed them at night and gets Lot AND all the stolen goods AND the other captives!
Melchizedek. WHO IS HE?
- He is a monotheistic Priest and King in a Pagan land.
- A Theophany or Christophany is a physical appearance of God/Jesus to a human being.
- Non-human form (like the burning bush)
- Human form (like when Jacob wrestled with the man in Peniel)
- Angel form (Angel of the Lord)
- A Typology: a form of symbolism that is prophetic. In Old Testament typology are people and objects that foreshadow, point to something that is yet to happen or someone (most often Jesus) who is yet to come.
Hebrew tradition says he is Shem (Noah’s son) But we really don’t know. Out of NOWHERE this King of Salem (King of Peace) ‘future Jerusalem’ comes to accept the FIRST TITHE! He performs COMMUNION.
Genesis 14-18-20 (go underline it)
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
And blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Do you understand how much foreshadowing is in just those two verses? This was 600 years BEFORE the priesthood was dictated through Moses as a Levitical line (don’t get confused, we will get there next month ).
If this topic interests you…feel free to dig into the book of Hebrews. Here is a snippet: Hebrews 7 “This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.”
We end with Abram professing his Faith in the Lord! God won this “318” Battle for him!
Chapter 15: “After this”: After he fought some major kings, Abram was afraid of retaliation…So what does God say “DON’T BE AFRAID, I AM YOUR SHIELD”.
In the days of Abraham, if a person did not have an heir, the estate went to your ‘top servant’. Abram’s servant was Eliezar. Abram’s like “God, I am getting pretty old, and you have not given us Viagra yet!” (paraphrase of course) Oh how I love Abram…He’s a mess…verse 6: He believed the Lord…but in verse 8: “How can I know”….
So God seals the Promise with a Covenant!
This is not one of those, “cut your hand and let’s shake on it”. The animals are huge and they are cut vertically in half and spaced out. The blood would pool up…lots of it, and God in the form of fire, would pass through it creating an Everlasting Covenant! Notice, Abraham was put to sleep: this is a one-sided covenant.
On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”
BUT….Not before saying…
13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”
If you have a study bible you will see in your margin or at the bottom a cross-reference to Exodus 12:40 Look it up!
Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the LORD’s divisions left Egypt.