Summary: Beginning in chapter 12 and continuing all the way through the book of Revelation we see God’s reconciliation plan for man. And at the center of His plan is a man named Abraham.
“It Begins and Ends with Israel”
I want you to imagine for a moment that someone says to you, “John Grisham’s new book is the best I have ever read.” You have to read it right away. So you take your friend’s advice, you buy the book, get comfortable and begin to read. You turn first to the middle of the book and you find names, locations and events of the story taking place that make no sense at all. Who in the world is Millie Dupree and Gladys or Mr. Cable. And what in the world are they doing in Biloxi MS? Confused you decide to turn to the end of the book to find the answers…. Now you find out they are all in court and the defendant has been found guilty. But you wonder why why??? And you see that one of the jurors is mailing money to Panama City. Isn’t that illegal? Why would they do that? Now you’re more confused than ever so you put the book down and you think, you know John Grisham has lost his touch, he can’t even write a book that makes sense! How am I supposed to know who these people are in the story AND the ending of the book doesn’t even make sense to me??
Now you and I recognize that’s just not the way to read a book. You don’t start in the middle, you don’t suddenly turn to the last page thinking I want to see how this book ends because the ending of this book and the middle of this book don’t make sense UNLESS you start at the beginning.
We say well we would never do that yet this illustrates why so many people have difficulty understanding the subject of Bible prophecy. They start reading the Bible in the wrong place. If you want to make sense out of the Bible the place to start is not in the last book of the Bible (Revelation) or in the middle of the book (Ezekiel, Daniel) ---- you start at the beginning of the book. Genesis. Write this down. The word Genesis means beginnings. And it is the foundation for studying Bible prophecy.
Whenever we think of the book of Genesis we think of events like the Creation, the fall of man, the flood; the tower of Babel. But all of these events combined compose only 11 chapters (20%) of the book. Genesis has 50 chapters. In those 11 chapters it is almost as though God is saying by the way, let me tell you HOW I made this world and let me also tell you WHY man is in the mess he is in. That is the theme of the first 11 chapters…man is far away from God. In these 11 chapters we see man moving further and further away from God. (HANDS)
In chapter 11 the scripture says that man attempted to build a tower up to the heavens “so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth.” But here’s the problem. God had told man from the beginning that he was to be fruitful and to multiply. Man was to fill up the whole earth, not just one corner of it. Anytime God’s people become selfish—anytime we become so wrapped up in ourselves that we stop caring about others, we are in trouble.
God of course knew this and so He said I’ll scatter you anyway. Genesis 11:8-9.
But then beginning in chapter 12 and continuing all the way through the book of Revelation we see God’s reconciliation plan for man. And at the center of His plan is a man named Abraham. Do you get that? In less than two chapters He gives us the account of the creation of the entire universe, 2 chapters, but then the rest of the book focuses on Abraham and his family. Why does God give so much attention to this one man? Write it down. God’s promise to Abraham is the key to understanding the rest of the Bible and the key to understanding Bible prophecy.
Abraham and his family were living in the city of Ur. Ur was a major city. Now you may already know this. But archaeologists have shown us that the people of Ur were proficient in mathematics and the sciences and were intelligent beyond their time but they have also shown us that the people were very involved in idol worship. And Abraham was a party of that group. But God called him out and this is what He said to him….
Genesis 12:1-9 What God gives to Abraham. He gives him a 3 fold promise.
1. God promised a land. God said go to the land which I will show you. Has God ever said anything like that to you? I want you to go somewhere but I’m not telling you just yet. But then he gives a description of the land and says here are the boundaries---this is the land that will belong to Israel. MAP