GENESIS 12


1 Now Yahweh had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

At the command of God, Abraham severed all his connections with his home and his native land, and went forth in simple faith, "not knowing whither he went."

Abraham's outstanding characteristic was faith. He is presented to us as the pre-eminent example in this respect --

"The Father of the Faithful."

Faith that hesitated at nothing and rose triumphant above every obstacle and natural sentiment and desire.

It is one thing to be so vividly convinced of God's closeness and reality as to be able to defy universal opinion and -- dropping everything -- to follow an unseen Voice through strange, wild lands for 1,000 miles with no idea of the destination or perils of the way.

It is an even far greater thing to wait more than twenty-five years in that alien land for even the first beginnings of the fulfillment of the promise that had drawn him forth. What were Abraham's thoughts as year after year rolled by, each one making the realization of the promise appear even less possible? He waited in faith.

Bro Growcott - Shall a child be born.


2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Abram was 75 when he received the calling to head for the promised land v4

Alluding to this promise, the apostle says, that in making it, "the gospel was preached to Abraham" -- the glad tidings of blessedness to the nations, when Abraham and his descendants should be great, and renowned throughout the earth. Abraham believed this gospel promisorily announced to him by the Lord God.

Nor was his faith inoperative. It was a living, moving faith -- a faith through which he obtained a good report.

By the influence of the faith, which embraces the things hoped for, it is testified that Abraham

"when he was called to go out into a country which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. For he looked for the city having foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (Heb. 11:8,10).

He turned his back on Babel, and with Sarai, and his nephew, Lot, and all his substance, he left his father's house, crossed the Euphrates and the Jordan, and entered the land of Canaan, still travelling onward until he arrived at Sichem, in the plain of Moreh. Having come thus far into the country, the Lord appeared again to Abram to let him know that he was in the land He intended to show him; and added this remarkable promise, saying, "Unto thy SEED will I give this land" (Gen. 12:7).

Let us pause here in the biography of Abram, and consider this promise. Here was a country, lying between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean, in which were Abraham and all his house with his flocks and herds, and which was in the actual possession of warlike tribes, living in cities walled up to heaven; concerning this country, the Lord, to whom heaven and earth belong, said to Abraham, I will give it to thy Seed, when as yet he had no child.

But it is particularly interesting to know who is intended by Abraham's Seed in this promise? Is it the "great nation" spoken of in the former promise; or, is it some particular personage to whom the land of Canaan is here promised as an inheritance? I shall offer no opinion upon the subject, but let the apostile to the Gentiles answer the question. In writing to the disciples in Galatia about the inheritance, he says,

"The promises were made to Abraham and to his Seed. God saith not, And to seeds as of many persons; but as of one person, as it is written, And unto thy Seed, which is Christ" (Gal. 3:16).

The apostle tells us that the land of Canaan was promised to the Christ when God said to Abraham,

"Unto thy Seed will I give this land."

Let the reader, then, bear this in mind as one of the first principles of the kingdom. Deny this, and there is an end to all understanding of the truth.

Elpis Israel 2.2.



10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.

Leaving his country and kindred at God's first call, and finally reaching the promised land, he had immediately encountered famine, and faced the prospect of starvation (Gen. 12:10). In search of food, he left the land and went to Egypt.

Should he have gone to Egypt or not? It is hard to say. Perhaps it was a well-meaning error of judgment, a misguided human effort to help along the Divine Plan, like the later attempt to provide a seed through Hagar. Perhaps, having been instructed by God to go to Canaan he should have stayed there until further directed, relying on God to provide. Later, in identical circumstances of famine (Gen. 26:2), Isaac is specifically warned not to go to Egypt, but to stay in God's land and trust to His care.

Looking back, we can see the spiritual significance in these instances, and it appears that Abraham's lessons and experiences are intended as a guide and warning to us. At any rate, he soon found that Egypt held greater perils than famine, and only the intervention of God averted a catastrophe (Gen. 12:15-20).

Bro Growcott - 'Shall a child be born'