Genesis Chapter 12
"God's Covenant with Abram."
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
In this twelfth chapter, Abram's name has not been changed yet to Abraham, for it will be in the seventeen chapter that this is done. Abram was living with his father Terah in Haran when this chapter begins. Haran is in the southeastern part of Turkey, and hundreds of miles from Abram's birthplace in Ur, of the land of the Chaldees.
Abram is about seventy five years old, and Sarai is also in her sixties, and she is still without a child. God is going to set Abram aside to perform an important part of His plan, and the time of leaving Haran and entering into the land of Canaan is 1921 years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ; the fulfillment of the most important part of God's plan .
God told Abram that he is going to have children that will number as many as the sands of the sea, and that he would become a blessing to all nations, including the Gentile nations. Why would this be? Because it will be through his wife Sarai, whose name God will later change to Sarah, that the promised Christ child would come. Jesus is that promised Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, including the Gentile nations; and He is the only hope for any person of any race.
The reason you and I must understand the importance of this covenant that God made with Abram, is that it is part of God's plan for bringing His Son into the world. This must be done in order to prepare a way for all His children, the souls of all mankind, to be able to come to the Heavenly Father of their own free will and choice.
Remember in Genesis three where Satan tried to destroy the lineage, or bloodline of Adam, that which the Christ child would come through. Then again in Genesis six, Satan made another attempt to pollute the bloodline of the daughters of Adam with the fallen angels coming to earth, and marrying the daughters of men. The result of that influx of fallen angels found only Noah and his family of being the pure Adamic blood. Noah's righteousness was in his obedience to God, and in his pure pedigree, his lineage.
Now we are going to see that Abram also has been named by God as the "blessed seed". So be assured that Satan will give his full attention to Abram, and his family, and to the land that will be given to him. Just as Satan used his tactics, his children the Kenites, and the fallen angels to come and even intermarry into God's people; Today Satan will try also to destroy those that are in the service of our Heavenly Father.
Satan's methods are the same, however, today we have the power and the authority through Jesus Christ's payment on the cross, to resist all of Satan's attacks upon us. Luke 10:18-22 gives each of us that power and authority to order Satan out of our homes and lives, including our work place and our marriages.
This power to resist is all part of this Abrahamic covenant.
Genesis 12:1 "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:"
God is telling Abram to get out of the land of Babylon, the land of Confusion; and separate himself from the ties that hold him to it. Just as in the Babylon of ancient times, this Babel, or confusion is forming today on a massive scale, and God is telling us to get out of it.
Genesis 12:2 "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:"
God will give Abram a new name, which we will see in chapter seventeen, and that name is the "father of all nations". When we love and trust the Lord, then Abraham is our spiritual father, because it is through him that the Messiah, Jesus Christ will be born. If you are in Jesus Christ then you are in that "great nation", and are spiritually alive. However, those outside of Jesus Christ are people all spiritually dead.
Genesis 12:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.""
God's Word and God's people do bless the peoples of the earth in many ways. Abram listened to God and believed what God had told him. Then he acted upon what God had said. We read in Galatians 3:17; "And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after [the flood], cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect."
Paul is telling us that this covenant that God made with Abram four hundred and thirty years after Noah's flood was not done away with by the "New Covenant", which is confirmed in Christ. They are both in effect, and they are both eternal. Part of the Abrahamic covenant will be fulfilled in the Millennium, but it has and will continue right through this day.
Today; Israel [the Christian Nations] around the world are prospering and well blessed, and from it the entire world is being fed.
Genesis 12:4 "So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran."
Genesis 12:5 "And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and into the land of Canaan they came."
Abram and his entire household are separating themselves from his father's household, and they are migrating south. This is why saints are called the "set aside ones". We are to separate ourselves from those who don't care about the truth, and keep in fellowship with those who are like-minded, and care about the truth.
Genesis 12:6 "And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. (And the Canaanite was then in the land.)"
"Sichem" means the "back, or shoulder" in the Hebrew, and it was at this place where Abram would build his first altar to God. We will see later that Jacob will also build his altar to God in this same place. When Abram builds this altar, we see that Satan again will try to destroy it. Note also that we should copy the types of Abram's actions so that we also can please God. For when we please God we will be blessed.
Abram became very rich because he did it God's way, and followed God's orders. If you expect the blessings then study His Word, and follow the instruction within that Word.
Note here also that the "Canaanites, or Satan's people have arrived in the land before Abram. Once again Satan is on the attack, for he knew the bloodline by which "the seed of the woman" of Genesis 3:15, would enter the world. Satan knew that that "seed" [Jesus Christ] would ultimately be his end. In Genesis 6 Satan and his fallen angels targeted the whole human Adamic race; However, from here on Satan will take aim at Abram [Abraham] and his land.
Genesis 12:7 "And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, "Unto thy seed will I give this land:" and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, Who appeared unto him."
This altar to God that was built by Abram was to honor and worship God. It is not like the altar of chapters ten and eleven, which was man's effort to build his own salvation; to create their own way to heaven.
Genesis 12:8 "And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord."
Abram built his altar and sacrificed to God the way that God required of him; then after doing it God's way, Abram talked with God. He took counsel from God, and thanked Him. Abram had faith in God.
In the Hebrew tongue, "Hai" means "heaps or ruins". This indicates that people existed in this land long before Abram arrived in the land of Canaan.
Genesis 12:9 "And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south."
Genesis 12:10 "And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land."
After God had made all the covenant promises to Abram [Abraham]; promises of being the father of many nations, and much lands, here comes a famine hitting the promise land. Abram adjusted to the famine, and took his family south into Egypt.
We likewise have many promises we can claim in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, however, there will be times also that famine will enter our lives; these are times of testing and the strengthening of our patience. God uses these times of famine to sharpen us up. An untested whimpering cry baby is not a champion of his people, for he will fade and run at the first conflict. God allows the famine to come to strengthen our faith and patience, just as Abram was to be tested. Abram always kept his faith in God, and did it God's way.
Genesis 12:11 "And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, "Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:"
"Fair" in the Hebrew text, meant "beautiful"; even though she was over sixty five years old, she maintained her beauty. She lived to age one hundred and twenty five, and bear her son Isaac at age one hundred.
Genesis 12:12 "Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee that they shall say, "This is his wife:" and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive."
In Egypt the women went unveiled, and thus they would see Sarai's beauty. Abram knew that he was a foreigner in a foreign land, and that he would have a better chance to protect Sarai as her brother, then as her husband. As Sarai's husband the Egyptian's would simply kill Abram and take her. Abram is thinking right, contrary to many teachers interpretation of this verse, but God is still in control.
Genesis 12:13 "Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee."
This was a difficult time, with the famine back home, and being forced to flee to Egypt, Abram was concerned for Sarai's well being, "thy sake". This representation of Abram being Sarai's sister is not a lie, for we are told in Genesis 20:12; "And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife." Sarai is Abram's half sister.
In Genesis 20:11 reveals why Abram was concerned; "Because I thought, the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake."
Genesis 12:14 "And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair."
The Egyptians liked Sarai, and they were taken by her. It is through Sarai that the Messiah would come, and this is why God intervened. When you do it God's way, He will straighten out the crooked paths for you also.
Genesis 12:15 "And princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house."
Genesis 12:16 "And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses and camels."
Pharaoh in Egypt is the official title of it's kings, and it is like the position of Kaiser or the Czar. He treated Abram very well, and made Abram a rich man.
The message to us today is that when we follow God's plan we will always prosper. If we have the faith to know and obey God, we will be blessed.
Genesis 12:17 "And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife."
When Abram tried his way, then God intervened with His divine Intervention. Everything became barren in Egypt, and Pharaoh was told that Sarah was Abram's wife, and that this was the cause. The Pharaoh came to know the power of Abram's God, and he did not want to challenge that power and authority.
Genesis 12:18 "And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, "What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me me that she was thy wife?"
The Pharaoh now knows God's power and simply is afraid to take vengeance upon Abram, because of his God. The lesson here is that God is totally in charge, and can influence the minds and thoughts of even the Pharaoh. His power is unchanging; it is the same today as it was in Abram's day, and it will remain eternally.
Genesis 12:19 "Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way."
The Pharaoh is upset to the point of just having Abram leave, simply to take what he has and get out of Egypt.
Genesis 12:20 "And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had."
The Pharaoh didn't take back any of his gifts to Abram, so Abram is leaving Egypt a lot richer then when he came. Pharaoh commanded his men to leave Abram alone, and see to it that he has safe passage out of Egypt. It didn't take Pharaoh long to see the full divine power of Abram's God, and to respect that power.
Our lesson today is that Satan will try to destroy us whenever he has a chance, in whatever position we find ourselves. Satan thought he had victory over the lineage that the Messiah was to come through, when Sarai was married to the Pharaoh; but it is God that straightened out the the path. Sarai would not have a child until God's appointed time for that child, and when Sarai was one hundred years old, that was the appointed time. Isaac was not just another child, but a God given miracle, born to Sarai when humanly it was impossible.
Abram's faith never wavered for he knew God would see him through, and that God would keep His word.
Plough .~ Seeds .~ Vine .~ Potter .~ Seasons .~ Sonshine .~ Rain .~ Field