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Commentary » Genesis 12:1-Genesis 12:9 »

Promises to Abram

When Hudson Taylor went to China, he made the voyage on a sailing vessel. As it neared the channel between the southern Malay Peninsula and the island of Sumatra, the missionary heard an urgent knock on his stateroom door. He opened it, and there stood the captain of the ship. More


This is a pivotal chapter in the book of Genesis as God turns His attention from a rebellious humanity scattered by the judgment of Babel to one man, Abraham. At this point, Abraham was 75 years of age and had another 100 years to live (v. 4). The next twelve chapters of Genesis are devoted to the development of Abraham’s spiritual pilgrimage. The call of Abraham and his response to it are one of the most momentous events in history. At the time of the call Abraham was living in a land where heathen gods were worshiped. No sooner had he arrived than a famine struck the land. Abraham’s call included the fact that he was to be a blessing to all men, even as God has chosen us to be a help to others. One of the first things he did was to build an altar and worship the Lord.

1. It begins with a statement of faith.

a. God promises land - (v. 1)  (Palestine)

b. God promises a nation - (v. 2a)  (Jewish People)

c. God promises to make his name great - (v.2b)

d. God promises blessing - (v.3)

2. It is followed by a step of faith. (vv. 4-9)

a. We see Abraham witnessing - (v. 5)

b. We see Abraham walking - (v. 6)

c. We see Abraham waiting - (v. 7)

d. We see Abraham worshiping - (vv. 8-9)


Faith takes God at His word and obeys Him. This is what Abraham did and that is what I need to do regardless of the comforts of life I may be enjoying.    

Genesis 12:1-9 (English Standard Version)

Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 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, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

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