The Book of Genesis

week 18

Chapter 11:27-12:9

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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise

Gen 11:27-32 27 This is the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot. 28 And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. 30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. 32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.

If you're like me, you have a lot of trouble trying to figure out who begot who and whom they were related to. It's enough to almost make you dizzy.
But the NLT puts it in simpler terms that help make it more understandable.

Gen 11:27-30 (NLT) 27 This is the history of Terah's family. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran had a son named Lot. 28 But while Haran was still young, he died in Ur of the Chaldeans, the place of his birth. He was survived by Terah, his father. 29 Meanwhile, Abram married Sarai, and his brother Nahor married Milcah, the daughter of their brother Haran. (Milcah had a sister named Iscah.) 30 Now Sarai was not able to have any children.

Milcah name means, "queen"; where as Sarai's name means "princess"
And this may have been rightly so in those days, because Milcah had 8 children where as Sarai had none at this time.

Gen 22:23 And Bethuel begot Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother.

Something also interesting is even though we know Abram as a godly man; his father, Terah was not.

Josh 24:2. And Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods

Remember that Abram left the land of the Ur of the Chaldeans and went to Haran, which was about 600 miles away.
So Terah raised his family in an ungodly place, and even practiced what they believed.
So how bad where the Chaldeans?
Well, they are mentioned in the oldest book in the Bible the book of Job.

Job 1:17 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"

It is believed that Job was around during the time of Abraham. If this is so, I wonder if any of his family where involved in this raiding on Job's camels and servants?

God also speaks of their pride in the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, The beauty of the Chaldeans' pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

And in the book of Daniel we see that they were named with the magicians and astrologers. With even their talk of other gods once again forgetting about the true God.

Dan 2:10-11 10 The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, "There is not a man on earth who can tell the king's matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. 11 "It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh."

Abram was now watching over his nephew Lot whose father had died.

The land of Ur was on the edge of the Persian Gulf and Terah, Abram's father and Lot went to Haran, which is at the edge of the Euphrates River. So they probably followed the Euphrates River up to Haran which was a mountainous land.
If you look it the back of your bible, you will probably have a few maps, and you can see were they started and finished.

Gen 12:1-3 1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

Abram left Ur and went to Haran, which was still part of his family's country and lived there with his father.
So God says to get out of there.
Basically separate yourself from the sinful ways of the country you are living in. And the cool thing is that God was to direct where he was going.
Also notice that God didn't say exactly where to go, but just go.
And with the leaving God said that He would bless him and even allow him to be known, or in our terms a "legend".

This is the same thing that happens to us when we except Jesus. God says OK now, separate yourself from the world, and get away from the old life style.
God doesn't tell us where to go, but he does promise us blessings. And when we think of someone being blessed, we think of materialistic things.
Someone gets a new home and we say they are blessed, or a new car, or extra money.
Don't get me wrong, God does bless with these things, but His definition of blessing and ours is not always the same thing.
As we will read later on, Abraham had many possessions, but this is not the blessing that God was talking about.
I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
When you think of Abraham, do you think of him as a wealthy man, or a man who followed God?
When you talk of Abraham, to you talk about him as a blessed man because he was wealthy, or because of his relationship with God?

The blessing God is speaking of here is not just for Abram, but also for others.
It's the same with our blessings from God. Once again it's not just for our benefit but for the benefit of others also.
So to say you are blessed and keep it to yourself is possibly not what God intended when He blessed you.
Think about what God has blessed you with, and how are you using it to bless others?
I think of my blessing as my wife. I wouldn't share her with others, but then in away I would.
My wife is a blessing to others, but if I keep her locked up in the house not allowing her to bless others and only serve me, then I'm not allowing my blessing to benefit others. I have become stingy in a sense keeping this blessing all for myself.
Others have told me what a blessing she is to them and it's great to know that, because it tells me I am allowing her to do the Lords calling also.
Think again about Abraham and yourself, are you like Abraham remembered and talked about as being blessed be cause of what you have, or because of your relationship with God?

I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you
Reading this in it's context, we see that the blessing of others would be those who would speak good of him, but not just speak good of him but know him as a Godly man, which he was.
We also must remember that as Christians we are children of God.
If someone was to make fun of your kids wouldn't you get upset?
God watches over us and treats us like His kids, because we are. But if you think about it, Jesus was the Son of God, and God allowed others to beat Him, call him names, and even kill Him. Those who didn't seek the Lord's forgiveness are probably paying now worse then those who never knew Him.
Jesus even said this about His betrayer.

Matt 26:24-25 24 "The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." 25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Rabbi, is it I?" He said to him, "You have said it."

The interesting thing is God knows the plans of our heart, just as He knew Judas' plans to betray Him. We can't hide from God; even David speaks about this in one of the Psalms.

Psalms 139:7-8 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

So don't try to run from God, but rather run to God,

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

Here is another prophecy concerning Jesus. If you look at the genealogy of Jesus in both Matthew and Luke we see Abraham is part of each genealogy.
And all families talked about here include your family. Imagine, 5000 years ago God says to Abram; from you there will be a blessing that every family on earth will be able to have a part of. And when God was talking to Abram, He was thinking of you and your family at that time also, because as we know that God knew about each one of us before the earth was created.

Jer 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."

This is a good scripture to remember next time you think God doesn't care about you or when you think He doesn't even notice you.

Gen 12:4-6 4 So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. 6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.

The first thing I noticed when I read this is the fact that Abram went.
"Big deal" you may say. Actually it was a big deal, because Abram was being obedient to God, in fact we see this a lot of times in the bible when God speaks to someone. In most cases they just go as God says to. But there are always a few who want to rebel or disobey Gods command to go.

Jonah 1:1-3 1 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Ex 3:10-11 & 13 (NLT) 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You will lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt." 11 "But who am I to appear before Pharaoh?" Moses asked God. "How can you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt?"
13 But Moses protested, "If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' they won't believe me. They will ask, 'Which god are you talking about? What is his name?' Then what should I tell them?"

But as you know, you don't argue with God.

Jonah 3:1-3 (NLT) 1 Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 "Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message of judgment I have given you." 3 This time Jonah obeyed the Lord's command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all.

Ex 14:31 (NLT) When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the LORD had displayed against the Egyptians, they feared the LORD and put their faith in him and his servant Moses.

Jonah and Moses argued and even disobeyed God. But God had a plan, and that plan involved Jonah and Moses.
And even though they didn't want to obey God in the beginning, if you were to talk to them now, they would tell you that the best thing they ever did was to finally listen to God and obey Him.

5 Then Abram took all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran

Another thing I noticed here is the fact that Abram worked in Haran and was around this sinful place, and the Lord prospered him and he didn't become like the people of Haran but remained obedient to the Lord.

So it is possible to be in the world but not a part of the world, and it is OK to work hard for what you have and to have nice things as long as you posses them and they don't posses you.

Do you know who lead Abram and his family out of Haran? God you may say. But where does it say it?

Josh 24:3 'Then I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac.

6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.

The "terebinth tree" of Moreh, very common in Palestine, remarkable for its wide-spreading branches and its dark green foliage. It is probable that in Moreh there was a grove of these trees, whose inviting shade led Abram to choose it for an encampment.

Moreh = "teacher"
1) The oak tree at Shechem where Abram stopped when he first entered Canaan; close to the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim

And from this we see the children of Israel are promised this land if they obeyed God.

Deut 11:28-32 28 "and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. 29 "Now it shall be, when the LORD your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30 "Are they not on the other side of the Jordan, toward the setting sun, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the plain opposite Gilgal, beside the terebinth trees of Moreh? 31 "For you will cross over the Jordan and go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and you will possess it and dwell in it. 32 "And you shall be careful to observe all the statutes and judgments which I set before you today.

Gen 12:7-9 7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. 8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. 9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.

The word appeared could mean, "gain understanding". So to read this it would possibly say that, "the Lord gave Abram understanding that He would give this land to his descendants."

Bethel was bout 20 south of Shechem and was the highest point in the land of Canaan.
Why did Abram build another altar to the Lord at this time?
Remember that the land he was in, was still a pagan land that worshipped other gods. It's possible that Abram was not only worshipping his God but also acknowledging his God to the people.
It seems that everywhere we go there are other so called gods that are being called on. But how often do we call on our God or make Him known to others.
God had given Abram a promise that his descendants would inherit this land, even though at this time he was 75 and had no children. Still Abram stood on the promises of God.
There are so many "promises of God" books out now to help you read the promises of God. And when you read them they are good promises for blessings in our lives.
But those are not the only promises of God.

Deut 11:16-17 16 "Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, 17 "lest the LORD s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.

Deut 28:64-67 64 "Then the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known--wood and stone. 65 "And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. 66 "Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. 67 "In the morning you shall say, 'Oh, that it were evening!' And at evening you shall say, 'Oh, that it were morning!' because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.

1 Kings 9:6-7 6 "But if you or your sons at all turn from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 "then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight. Israel will be a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

So we can serve our God and boast in Him, or serve the worlds gods and allow them to consume us just as the children of Israel did.

Josh 24:15 "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. '

We love this verse and can even quote it, but is it really true in your house? Is your whole family or household serving God?
God says to you today, choose this day who you will serve.
And after you make the choice, stick to it!

Josh 24:15b
But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

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