TUESDAY, AUGUST 1
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 12
If you were to look at Acts 7:2, you would find where God called Abram to go to Canaan before the family left the Ur of the Chaldeans and went to Haran. As we saw last time, there was a bit of a delay in the journey to Canaan. They settled in Haran until Abram’s dad passed away.
At some point after that God appeared Abram again and again told him to leave where he was. The call was for Abram to go to a place he had never seen and live there. If he were obedient to that call, God promised Abram incredible blessing.
Because many of us are at least somewhat familiar with this story and how it ends up, it is easy for us to sort of bypass this episode as no big deal. But I have to think it must have been a difficult thing for Abram to obey the one, true God and head off to a place that he had never been and undoubtedly knew little about. To make this even more difficult, Joshua 24:2 says that Abram was an idolater when he was in Ur of the Chaldeans. That city was focused on worshipping the moon god Nannar. So, now Abram is being called by a God that he had little knowledge of to go to a place that he had little knowledge of. And what did Abram do? He loaded up his stuff and took off.
When Abram and his group arrived in Canaan they encountered a land that was already inhabited. Interestingly enough, God promised to give that very land to Abram’s descendents. As you read on you will find that a horrible famine drove Abram out of Canaan into Egypt. In the next chapter, we will see where Abram and his clan would leave Egypt and move back into Canaan.
Those two events prefigure some other significant events that will have a huge impact on the nation of Israel in the years to come. For example, later in the Biblical narrative, Joseph is the prime minister of Egypt during an unparalleled world wide famine. His family which would become the progenitors of the nation of Israel would come to Egypt to escape the famine. Hundreds of year later, Moses would arrive on the scene to lead the people out of Egypt toward the Promised Land which is Canaan.
There is another interesting thing about chapter 12. When Abram and his clan arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians found that Sarai (Abram’s wife) was a most beautiful woman. She was so beautiful that they wanted Pharaoh to have her. Somehow Abram had anticipated this and he had told Sarai to tell the Egyptians that she was Abram’s sister instead of his wife.
Of course when we read that, we think why in the world would Abram come up with such a story. Our answer is he did that to protect his own hide. Genesis 20:12, however, tells us that Sarai was Abram’s half sister. So, on one hand he didn’t actually force her to tell a lie about their relationship. But he certainly didn’t man up and protect his wife. Besides that we now have a man married to his sister. In our culture, that would be a big ewwwww…. unless you are from Arkansas.
Nevertheless, God intervened again. He protected Sarai. And through that process he protected Abram. At the end of the day, He was probably protecting the line of people through which the nation of Israel, His chosen people, would come. The purpose and plan of a sovereign God will never be thwarted by the efforts of man.