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Genesis 12:4-13:4

Genesis 12:4-13:4

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Published by John Shearhart
Abraham trial in Egypt proves God’s faithfulness and gives Abraham reason to believe.
Abraham trial in Egypt proves God’s faithfulness and gives Abraham reason to believe.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: John Shearhart on May 02, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/02/2013

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Genesis 12:4-13:4
 April 24, 2013
God told Abraham to leave his family and nation behind:
4
So Abram departed, as the L
ORD
had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of  Haran.
5
 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and alltheir substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the landof Canaan they came.
6
 And Abram passed through the land unto the placeof Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
 And the L
ORD
appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I givethis land:
When he gets to this plain of Moreh (or oak of Moreh) the LORD appears to him.This isn’t the last time God meets with someone here (18:1; 35:4), but it is the first.We need to remember that no one has ever seen the Father (Jn. 6:46), but thefullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ bodily (Col. 2:9). Don’t let anyone tell youthis is a “theophany;” that’s impossible. This is a Christophany—Abraham saw “myday” and was glad (Jn. 8:56). He saw Him face-to-face and knew he had met thepromised Redeemer!
and there builded he an altar unto the L
ORD
 , who appeared unto him.
His response upon meeting Him is to build an altar. The Hebrew root word means“slaughter.” I suppose it was a pile of stones or something where he could lay ananimal and kill it. Even before the Law Abel, Noah, and Abraham all knew of thesacrifice required for atonement. We aren’t told how they knew, but it’s obviousthat they did. The gospel has been the same since it was first told to Adam andEve.Also, I want you to see that this is an active and proactive God. He’s not sitting inheaven waiting for Abraham to get things right. He called Abraham personally.God revealed Himself to Abraham. Jesus came to seek and to save that which waslost, and He’s been fulfilling that mission even before the advent.
8
 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east:
Because he’s a stranger in the land with no inheritance he pitches a tent ratherthan build a house.
 
 Now, I don’t want to read any more into this than we’re supposed to, but it’sinteresting to me that Abraham pitched his tent between Bethel, which means“house of God” and Ai which means “ruin heap.” He’s temporarily lodgingbetween God’s house and the ruin heap. He’s not yet in the house, but he’s not inthe ruin heap either (II Cor. 5:1-8).
and there he builded an altar unto the L
ORD
 , and called upon the name of the L
ORD
.
Again he worships the LORD and offers sacrifices. We know this story so well andwe’re so familiar with the outcome that it’s hard to appreciate the facts: here wehave a 75 year old man living in a tent; he’s a nomad with no real securitieswandering around in a strange country because God told him to! All these altarsand calling upon God are acts of faith. He doesn’t trust in Nanna the moon-godanymore; he’s following Yahweh.But he’s not the great man of faith yet; he has a few tests and trials and failures toendure:
9
 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
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.
11
 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
12
Therefore it shall come to pass,when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: andthey will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
13
Say, I pray thee, thou art my  sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall livebecause of thee.
In that time and culture, the older brother would have had custody of his sister,and he could have given her into marriage. If the Egyptians think that Sarai is hissister then they’ll try to gain favor with him. But he’s afraid that if they know thenthey’ll kill him and marry his widow.Now, here’s a question: why is he afraid of dying? Doesn’t he believe the promiseof God that he’ll become a great nation? He has a specific promise directly from themouth of God, but he doesn’t really believe it; he’s afraid. It’s a real comfort to meto see someone who’s now considered such a giant of the faith who also fails.Those Egyptians couldn’t have laid a hand on him without God’s permission, but he’s not thinking about what he can’t see. He can see the famine and he can seethe Egyptians. Interestingly, he’ll come to face this exact same test later in lifewhen God asks him to give up his only son. By that time though, he realizes that 
 
God will fulfill His promise and that Isaac is in no real danger. But for now he isn’t sure God will preserve his life.
14
 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptiansbeheld the woman that she was very fair.
15
The princes also of Pharaoh saw  her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.
16
 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
17 
 And the L
ORD
plagued Pharaoh and his housewith great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife.
18
 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 
19
Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I  might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her,and go thy way.
20
 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: andthey sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
13:1
 And Abram wentup out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, intothe south.
2
 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
3
 And hewent on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where histent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;
4
Unto the place of the altar, which he had make there at the first: and there Abram called onthe name of the L
ORD
.
First, isn’t it interesting how this story compares with what the Israelites willexperience later:
 
They both go to Egypt to get food
 
They both get stuck there
 
God strikes Pharaoh with plagues
 
Both left with silver and gold
 
Both returned to the Promised Land where they originally startedBut more importantly,
Abram called on the name of the LORD
.” The main point of this is God’s work in Abraham’s life. He’s called him out of idolatry, and He’sproving to him that He can be trusted.Let me give you a few thoughts in closing:
The obedience of faith comes over time.
God has promised that all things worktogether for our good and that we will be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom.8:28-30). It may seem slow and painful, but it is happening. On the other hand, it must happen. “
 If we say we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in thedarkness, we lie and do not practice the truth
” (I Jn. 1:6).

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