Abraham: The Call of Faith
Genesis 12 – 25:10
The subject of chapters 12 to 25:10 is the call of faith, exemplified in the life of Abraham. This section can be broken down as follows:
O U T L I N E
Genesis 12 – 13
- Prior Call and Promise to Abram in Haran (12:1-3)
- Abram & Company Leave Haran and come to Canaan (12:4-6)
- Promise to Abram in the Plain of Moreh (12:7)
- Abram Camps Between Bethel and Ai (12:8)
- Abram in Egypt (12:9-20)
- Abram Leaves Egypt and Return to Camp (13:1-4)
- Abram and Lot Separate (13:5-13)
- Abram receives the Call to Walk the Land (13:14-17)
- Abram comes to Hebron, Pitches in the Plain of Mamre (13:18)
Prior Call and Promise to Abram in Haran (12:1-3)
1 And Jehovah had said to Abram, Go out of thy land, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, to the land that I will shew thee. 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. 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.
Abram & Company Leave Haran and come to Canaan (12:4-6)
4 And Abram departed as Jehovah had said to him. And Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had acquired, and the souls that they had obtained in Haran, and they went out to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. 6 And Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
Promise to Abram in the Plain of Moreh (12:7)
7 And Jehovah appeared to Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land. And there he built an altar to Jehovah who had appeared to him.
Abram Camps Between Bethel and Ai (12:8)
8 And he removed thence towards the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel toward the west, and Ai toward the east; and there he built an altar to Jehovah, and called on the name of Jehovah.
Abram in Egypt (12:9-20)
9 And Abram moved onward, going on still toward the south. 10 And there was a famine in the land. And Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was grievous in the land. 11 And it came to pass when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a woman fair to look upon. 12 And it will come to pass when the Egyptians see thee, that they will say, She is his wife; and they will slay me, and save thee alive. 13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister, that it may be well with me on thy account, and my soul may live because of thee. 14 And it came to pass when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. 15 And the princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And he treated Abram well on her account; and he had sheep, and oxen, and he-asses, and bondmen, and bondwomen, and she-asses, and camels. 17 And Jehovah plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this thou hast done to me? Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 19 Why didst thou say, She is my sister, so that I took her as my wife. And now, behold, there is thy wife: take her, and go away. 20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him, and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
Abram Leaves Egypt and Return to Camp (13:1-4)
1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, towards the south. 2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he went on his journeys from the south as far as Bethel; as far as the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai; 4 to the place of the altar that he had made there at the first. And there Abram called on the name of Jehovah.
Abram and Lot Separate (13:5-13)
5 And Lot also who went with Abram had flocks, and herds, and tents. v.5 Abraham had a tent and an altar. Lot had a tent (outward testimony) but no altar. This gives us the secret of lots’ failure – a lack of communion with God.
6 And the land could not support them, that they might dwell together, for their property was great; and they could not dwell together. 7 And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land. v.7 The world was watching this strife. Abram must have been exercised about it. See I Cor. 6, “Before the unjust” and Phil. 2:15.
8 And Abram said to Lot, I pray thee let there be no contention between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen, for we are brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if to the left, then I will take the right; and if to the right, then I will take the left. 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of the Jordan that it was thoroughly watered, before Jehovah had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah; as the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt, as one goes to Zoar. v.10 Abram had fed Lot a mixture and now Lot is confused: his discernment is gone.
11 And Lot chose for himself all the plain of the Jordan; and Lot went toward the east. And they separated the one from the other: v.11 Lot is a picture of that large class of believers who, without faith for the separate path, settle down in the world and, though ultimately saved, are no testimony to God while passing through it. Lot “vexed his righteous soul from day to day” hearing their filthy conversation and seeing their unlawful deeds. He knew nothing of a walk in peace and nearness to God.
12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan; and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain, and pitched tents as far as Sodom. v.12 Lot still had his tent. When we start down a bad path we don’t always lose our pilgrim character immediately.
13 And the people of Sodom were wicked, and great sinners before Jehovah.
Abram receives the Call to Walk the Land (13:14-17)
14 And Jehovah said to Abram, after that Lot had separated himself from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15 for all the land that thou seest will I give to thee, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth, so that if any one can number the dust of the earth, thy seed also will be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land according to the length of it and according to the breadth of it; for I will give it to thee.
Abram comes to Hebron, Pitches in the Plain of Mamre (13:18)
18 Then Abram moved his tents, and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron. And he built there an altar to Jehovah.