Read Genesis 12
GENESIS 12 “LEKH L’KHA” [Get Yourself Out]
**Avram is traced back through ten successive generations to Shem, the son of Noach. [see Genesis 11:10-32]
Noach was still alive when Avram was born. 10 generations
Shem was still alive at the time when Avram, Yitzchak and Yakov were born. 12 generations from the Flood
v.1-3 “Go! Go already! Get yourself out!”
According to Acts 7 God had originally called Avram while he was living in Ur. Was this a repeated call to Avram at 75 y/o after Terach died in Haran? (modern-day Turkey) Or does chapter 12 just begin this way because it is the telling of Avram’s story? Whatever the case, we know that God initially called Avram out of his homeland, Ur, when he would have been 70 years old prior to leaving and winding up in Haran with his father, Terach.[see Acts 7:2-8 “The Call of Avraham Avinu / Galatians 3:16-18 / Exodus 12:40]
Since Terach went part of the way and then decided against following God any farther (he was an idol worshipper and likely one who fashioned the idols for profit as he settled in Haran), God chose to use Avram to go the whole way to Kena’an.
Partial obedience isn’t a little bit of obedience, it’s disobedience! Here we see God dividing, electing and separating the faithful members of Avram’s family from the unfaithful. God here calls Avram to hurriedly leave his family roots, both geographically and religiously.
**430 years later to the day, the Israelites left Egypt.
God’s Forever Covenant with Avram
—God will make Avram & his descendants a great nation
—God will bless Avram; Avram himself will be a blessing
—God will bless those who bless Avram, and God will curse those who curse Avram
—God will make the name (shem) of Avram great
—God will use Avram to bless all the families of the earth
Covenant…What is it?
The Hebrew word for covenant is b’rit. Greek loosely translated as diatheke…and in English as testament. Because there is no direct parallel to the concept of b’rit in Greek or English, Christians have adopted the belief to be equivalent to the concept of a will (as in “last will and testament”). It’s for this reason that we’ve come to use the English word testament to describe the two halves of the Bible. See how easy it is to have important concepts lost in translation?
A biblical covenant is a permanent thing unless God specifies that it is a conditional. The penalty for breaking a biblical covenant was usually severe, often death. The important thing to know about these God-made biblical covenants literally becomes a physical law of the universe: such as gravity, the speed of light, or the laws of thermodynamics. If you change one, it affects all others because they all work together and never independently from one another.
v.4-7 Avram’s story continues at the age of 75 and we see him departing from the land of Haran, which was in modern-day Turkey, where Terach had settled due to the luxuries and the richness of the land by the River Euphrates. After his father, Terach, had died, Avram continues on initial journey to Canaan they had set out on 5 years prior. He takes his wife, Sarai and his nephew Lot along with their entourage of servants and cousins they had accumulated along the way.
Remember Canaan was the son of Ham, who was cursed by his angry grandpa Noach. So Avram and his clan start making there way in the direction of the land of Canaan. This event was taking place bout 350 years after the great Flood and millions of people were now filling the earth.
God led Avram through much of the land which was now greatly populated by Kena’ani before they came to a specific spot called Shechem…this place is known as Nablus, a city currently under Palestinian control in the West Bank.
v.8-13 Severe famine in the land of Negev drove Avram to seek out resources in Egypt. Avram wanted to ensure his survival in Egypt so he concocted a plan which involved a lying half-truth, where he would not be known as Sarai’s husband, but rather as her brother.
v.14-20 Avram’s plan seems to have been working. Avram was kept alive and given slaves and cattle while Sarai was added to Pharaoh’s harem. Not being pleased with the separation of Avram and Sarai, God sends plagues on the house of Pharaoh. When Pharaoh discovers the deceit he publicly shames Avram and has him and his clan escorted out of the country.