Summary: Genesis verse-by-verse

Genesis 21

You know much of the book of Genesis is like a thousand piece puzzle that’s just been dumped out on the table. All the pieces are there but they just haven’t been put together yet. We can see the picture on the box of what the completed puzzle looks like, but we just have to put all the pieces together in their right place. So far in the book of Genesis we’ve only put a few pieces of the puzzle together. Chapter eleven and twelve help us put some more in place.

Last week we left off in the middle of Genesis chapter eleven where the pride of the people caused the Lord to scatter them by languages across the face of the earth. But all hope wasn’t lost. God would still accomplish His plan through the line of Shem. Verses ten through thirty two record the family line of Shem all the way down to Abram and his wife Sarai. We pick up the story of them as they lived with Abram’s father Terah in the region of Haran.

Here life seemed to be going along pretty well for Abram. His dad lived to be 205 years old. Abram had married. The family business was going well. They’re living in a nice area. Life is going well. But then something happened – God shows up.

[Read Genesis 12:1-3.]

God shows up in Abram’s life and gives him a new direction. Everything would now change. Everything! The comfort zone that Abram lived in would not be available for him any more. God told him to leave three things, three things that can give a man great comfort. He was to leave:

- His country

- His family

- His father’s household, (family business since Terah had just died)

- His paganism

[Read Joshua 24:2.]

Could you imagine how tough this must have been? Abram was a different man when he

set out on this journey for the Lord. His father had just died. He left his country. He left much of his family. He uprooted the location of the family business. He left his paganism to follow only Yahweh. And this God had told him to go on a journey.

Where exactly was he going? At this point he really didn’t know.

[Read Genesis 12:1.]

God told him to go and that later He would fill in the details.

This journey is one amazing event in history. When you look at it within the scope of God’s redemptive plan for humanity, it’s a pivotal moment for man. You see, Abram’s journey was about more than just him. This was:

I. A journey of covenant

This is where God begins to define the Abrahamic covenant between Himself, the nation of Israel and even the world. Now this isn’t the actual covenant, but this is God’s promise to Abram and the world about his plan of redemption.

Now since this is a covenant to bring about a nation that would bring forth the Savior of mankind, I believe this idea of worldwide redemption was first introduced to us in the Garden of Eden. Let’s look at a few passages and the progression of God explaining the covenant.

[Read Genesis 3:15, 12:1-3, 15:18-21, 17:1-5.]

(The covenant is also later renewed with Isaac and Jacob later in the book of Genesis.)

Now when you look at all of these passages its an amazing thing that the Lord is promising to do. He promises four things in the covenant:

1. Seed, (that would bring forth the Savior)

[Read Galatians 3:8, 16.]

2. Land

3. Nation

4. Blessing

Now this covenant is unconditional is its ultimate fulfillment of a kingdom and salvation

for Israel and the world. But it’s also a conditional covenant within its immediate fulfillment.

[Read Genesis 12:2-3.]

And we’ll see this played out over and over again throughout the book of Genesis. But I think that often times Israel didn’t understand what the covenant was all about. They thought it was all about them. But it was really all about others. The blessings of God upon them were to enable them to be a blessing to others.

[Sponge vs. hose illustration.]

So you see, this journey is more than just something that Abram had to do to demonstrate his love for God. This was something that God was doing to demonstrate His love for man. This was a journey of covenant. But for Abram, it was:

II. A journey of faith

[Read Genesis 12:4-5.]

So Abram, his nephew, their wives, and their workers pack up the U-haul and head to Canaan. I wonder if they were as stressed out back then as people are today when they move.

I tell you what, people get crazy when they’re moving!

[Lady accusing me of tampering with the mileage on a truck story.]

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