Calling of Abram (Genesis 12) Commentary


Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your countryand your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. Abraham was being set apart from other men, even those of his country and family. This tells us that Abraham’s relatives were not righteous as himself. Christ says we must put him above all else. And I will make of you a great nation Not just the Jewish Nation, but ultimately the Christian Nation. and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. Abraham is the patriarch of three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Men of God are blessings to those around them. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, Because of Abraham’s love for God, and his obedience to God, God’s providence is with him. and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Jesus Christ, the messiah, will descend from Abraham, giving grace to all families of the Earth.
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abraham trusted in the Lord. Lot was his nephew. Abram was seventy-five years old This is advanced in age for us, but the Bible records much longer lifespans at the time of Abraham. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, They took whoever was willing to go worship the one true God. Not all will answer the call of the Lord. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Abraham was a stranger in this land. Believers in God find themselves strangers in the world around them. Then the Lord appeared We do not know in what form to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” A Promise to be fulfilled, though now it belonged to the Canaanites, who did not know God, but worshiped a number of idols and false gods. So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. In response to this Abraham worships. he moved to the hill country and pitched his tent. Abraham put God before his himself. And there he built an altar to the Lord again, to honor God. Wherever we are we should find build the altar in our hearts first before all errands of the day.

Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt Abram moved again to find provision. he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Covetousness leads to sin. Sarai was beautiful, and as a foreigner, intriguing and different from Egyptian women. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” Abraham should not have lied, nor asked his wife to lie, but depended on the providence of God. He feared for his life, though God had appeared to him. His motives here were selfish. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. As Abraham had not claimed her to be his wife, they took her. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; what profit a man if gain the world but lose his soul?

But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. This is a clear statement from God about the importance of marriage. It is not said that Pharaoh had relations with Sarai, and the affliction God may have been to prevent such. So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? He made the connection immediately, and was justified. And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had. The Pharaoh feared God, and further retribution. Abraham, like any man, is a sinner, and here he failed to show faith in God’s protection. Had he been honest, he may have been allowed to stay peacefully for a time. The Lord was merciful and gracious enough to protect him and his wife despite this.

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