Genesis 12 Chapter Commentary: God’s Call of Abram
In Genesis 12, God calls Abram (later known as Abraham) to leave his home in Haran and go to a new land. God promises to make him a great nation, to bless him, and to make his name great.
Abram dutifully obeys God’s call and takes his wife Sarai (later known as Sarah), his nephew Lot, and all their possessions and sets out for the land of Canaan. When they reach the land, God appears to Abram again and promises to give him and his descendants this land as their inheritance.
However, a famine hits the land, and Abram and his family travel to Egypt for food and shelter. While they are in Egypt, Abram becomes afraid that the Egyptians will kill him to take his beautiful wife Sarai, so he tells her to pretend to be his sister. The pharaoh takes Sarai into his household, intending to make her his wife. But God intervenes and sends plagues on the pharaoh and his household.
The pharaoh realizes that Sarai is Abram’s wife and sends them away with their possessions. They return to the land of Canaan, where Abram continues to follow God’s guidance.
The story in Genesis 12 raises several important themes and issues, including the call to faith and obedience, the consequences of fear and lack of trust in God, and the question of how to fulfill God’s promises. It also sets the stage for the further development of the story of Abraham and his descendants, and the ongoing theme of God’s covenant relationship with his people.
What’s the Main Point?
Overall, Genesis 12 provides insight into the challenges and rewards of following God’s call, and the importance of trusting in God’s guidance even when we face difficult circumstances or uncertainty. It also highlights the importance of faith and obedience, and the power of God’s promises to shape the course of our lives.
What Can We Learn from This Chapter?
There are several important lessons that we can learn from Genesis 12:
God calls people to follow him: The story of Abram’s call reminds us that God has a plan for each of our lives and that he calls us to follow him. Sometimes, this call may require us to leave behind familiar places and people, as Abram did when he left his home in Haran.
God makes promises: God promises to bless Abram and make his name great. This teaches us that God is faithful to his promises and that we can trust him to fulfill his word.
We must trust God: Abram had to trust God’s guidance even when he faced uncertainty and challenges, such as the famine and his encounter with the pharaoh in Egypt. This reminds us that we must trust God’s guidance even when we don’t fully understand what he is doing or where he is leading us.
We must avoid deceit: Abram’s deception about Sarai being his sister, while understandable given the cultural context, led to negative consequences. This reminds us that we must avoid deceit and dishonesty, even in difficult situations.
God can use imperfect people: Abram was not perfect and made mistakes, but God still chose him to be the father of a great nation. This teaches us that God can use imperfect people like us to fulfill his purposes and that our past mistakes do not define us.
Dear Lord, we thank you for your unwavering presence and guidance in our lives. We ask that you give us the strength to trust in your plans and direction for our lives, just as you called Abraham to leave his home and follow you.
Lord, please grant us the courage and resilience to follow you even when the path ahead is uncertain. May we always remember that we are called to be your children and ambassadors in this world, and may we be a blessing to others, like Abraham.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Image attribution for featured image:
Abraham Goes To The Land Of Canaan By Gustave Doré, from Pixabay, free to use under the Pixabay license, no attribution required, by GDJ, August 7, 2022
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