Genesis 12:1-9 Abram’s Journey to Canaan CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this lesson, we find that God gave Abram a charge to leave his own country and go to a land that he would give Abram and his descendants for an inheritance. Abram obeyed God’s charge to leave, but he disobeyed God’s command to leave his family behind. Nevertheless, God blessed Abram with a blessing that has survived every generation of Jews from then until now.
God’s Charge to Abram
In verse 1, God’s charge to Abram included four specific orders:
- Leave your country;
- Leave your people;
- Leave your family;
- Go to a land that I’ll show you.
As is often the case, God’s charge to us involves having to give up something. Salvation, for instance, involves losing your life to find it (Matt. 10:39). Missionaries have to leave their countries, people, and families and go to the lands that God shows them. Christ’s disciples “left all” to follow him (Mk. 10:28-30).
God’s Blessing to Abram
In verses 2-3, God blessed Abram with several specific promises:
- He would become a great nation;
- He would be personally blessed;
- His name would be great;
- He would be a blessing;
- Those that blessed him would be blessed;
- Those that cursed him would be cursed;
- All families would be blessed in him.
And those promises will be fulfilled. Just look:
- Great nation (Mal. 3:12; Zech. 14:16-17; Is. 2:2-4; 49:22-23)
- Be blessed (Zech. 12:8; Mic. 7:7-9; Gen. 26:12-14)
- Great name (Zeph. 3:19-20; Rom. 4:11-13; Est. 9:3-5; Dan. 2:46-49)
- Be a blessing (Gen. 39:4-5; Est. 10:1-3)
- Blessed that bless him (Matt. 25:34-40; 2 Chr. 36:22-23)
- Cursed that curse him (Zech. 12:9; Matt. 25:41-46; Zeph. 3:8)
- All families blessed (Zech. 8:22-23; 2:10-11; Is. 55:5)
God told Abram to leave his family and he didn’t. He took his nephew Lot with him. That was a problem:
- There was strife between their herdmen because “the land was not able to bear them,” (Gen. 13:5-9);
- Lot walked by sight and not by the faith of Abram (Gen.13:10-11);
- Lot chose to live near wicked sinners (Gen. 13:12-13);
- Abram had to fight the kings of the east in order to rescue Lot (Gen. 14).
- Abram had to intercede for Lot to spare him from the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah (Gen. 18).
- Lot’s daughters bare him children from incest that became the bitter enemies of the Jews (Gen. 19:30-38).
- Abram should have left Lot at home!!
So, when God gives you a command, you’d better do exactly what he says. The consequences of your disobedience could affect many generations to come.
In verses 5 and 6, Abram went to the land of Canaan like God told him to. The inhabitants of the land were Canaanites, descendents of Ham and his cursed son, Canaan (Gen. 10:6, 9:25). The Canaanites would continue to inhabit this land for four hundred more years (Gen. 15:13) until the Jews defeated them after departing from Egypt.
God’s Promise to Abram
In verses 7-9, God promised Abram and his seed the possession of Canaan as an everlasting inheritance (Gen. 13:15). So, the claim today that this land belongs to the Palestinians is a false claim. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the Modern State of Israel.