Monday, January 16, 2017

Journaling Genesis #7

What can I learn from reading Genesis 12?

  • The LORD said. God speaks. God seeks. God doesn't need us, but he wants us, wants to be in fellowship with us. It is not a matter of does God speak, but a matter of do we listen!
  • I will….show you, make you, bless you, make your name great, make you to be a blessing to others, bless those who bless you, curse those who treat you with contempt. Verses 12:2-3 have a lot of "I will" promises. An overwhelming amount of promises. Just one or two would lift you up and give you strength, courage, hope, faith. God keeps his promises. God's promise of "all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you" is still being fulfilled. 
  • God's promises are forever promises.
  • God's word to Abram started with "Go!" and Abram went. Lot went too. (Was he invited?) Sarai, his wife, went, of course. Also all their people and possessions. He was 75. Genesis 12:6-20 recounts Abram's journey. 
  • Two altars, at least, were built along the way. Worship mattered to Abram.
  • The journey was difficult at times. Abram worried about a famine and changed course and headed to Egypt. This detour led to trouble. The LORD striking Egyptians with plagues. 

What can I learn from reading Genesis 13 and 14?

  • Abram gets back on track and continues his journey. He went by stages. He returned to where he had previously built an altar. Abram called on the name of Yahweh there.
  • Abram and Lot separate. Abram graciously lets Lot choose first. Lot chose with his eyes, swept up--swept away?--by appearances. Jordan Valley looked like it had it all--had everything. It seemed like an easy, obvious choice. Abram was left with Canaan. But. God had already promised Abram that Canaan was his--that Canaan was a place God had promised to give him and his many, many, many descendants forever. So didn't Abram already know where God wanted him? Probably.
  • Verse 14 reaffirms the promise…full of "I will" statements. God now commanded him to 'get up and walk around the land.' Though the fulfillment was in the future, the promise was to be lived in. Abram built another altar. (Is this number 3?)
  • Lot's choice only looked like a good investment. He went from living near Sodom to living in Sodom. He may have started out separated from the evil city, but he soon began losing some of his separateness. 
  • Lot became a captive because of his proximity to Sodom and the other cities in the Jordan Valley. He didn't foresee this. He, of course, was not alone in his plight.
  • A survivor came and told Abram. Abram assembled his men--318 trained men--and was able to rescue (deliver) those taken captive.
  • Melchizedek (king of Salem) was priest to God Most High. He blessed Abram. Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 
  • King of Sodom wanted to reward Abram, but Abram had a few good reasons to say no. First, he had made an oath to God not to. End of story! Second, he was worried that receiving this gift, this reward would lead others to the wrong conclusions. Third, Abram was blessed by God, he didn't need the 'blessings' from such a wicked, evil, place. He wanted to keep a distance, a separation between himself and Sodom.
  • He didn't expect others to feel the same and stick to his oath.
  • It is human nature to a) want to pick b) want to pick FIRST. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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