Gen. 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fatherÕs house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
Gen. 12:2 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:
Gen. 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Gen. 12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
Gen. 12:5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brotherÕs son, and all their 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 land of Canaan they came.
The Lord speaks to Abram and tells him to leave this land and his relatives. There is no background given to AbramÕs relationship with God. ItÕs obvious there had to be a relationship for Abram to obey the Lord. ItÕs also obvious that he wasnÕt surprised at hearing God speak to him.
Abram and Sarai were childless (v11:30), but God promised to:
1) make him a great nation
2) bless him
3) make his name great
4) make him a blessing to others
5) bless those who blessed him
6) curse those who cursed him
7) bless all peoples on earth through him.
So, at age 75 Abram sets out to obey God. He takes his wife, his brotherÕs son Lot, and all their substance and the souls (servants) they had gotten in Haran.
There is one thing he chose to disregard—God told him to leave his kindred, but he chose to take Lot with him. (Why is it we canÕt just obey? IÕm sure he felt he was doing the right thing in taking care of his nephew; by that time he considered Lot part of his household.)
(6/07) Terah was 70 when Abram was born. Abram was 75 when he left Haran. Terah would have been 145 when Abram left; he lived 60 more years in Haran after Abram left. As I was reading through this section again, the verb tense in verse 1 stood out—Òthe Lord had said,Ó past tense. Maybe this refers back to 11:31. It would seem that sometime after Haran died, Terah headed out toward Canaan per GodÕs command to Abram. Finally, at age 75 Abram heads out on his own, but he also took his nephew Lot. I would assume that he had developed a special relationship with Lot in the absence of a son. As usual, this disobedience resulted in future trouble.
Gen. 12:6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
Gen. 12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
Gen. 12:8 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: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
Gen. 12:9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
They traveled to Sichem (Shechem) in the land of Canaan and God appeared to Abram. Twice in verse 7 we are told that God appeared to Abram. Until this time he had been obeying someone he had only heard. (Thought: How would it change our lives if we actually thought that God would appear/show up to see us at any time?) Just because we canÕt see Him, we seem to think He canÕt see us—at least that is what many of our choices/actions indicate.
God tells Abram that He will give this land to his children. In response, Abram builds an altar to the Lord. He leaves Shechem and goes to a mountain east of Bethel. When he pitches his tent, Bethel is on the west and Hai (Ai) is on the east. Again he builds an altar to the Lord and prays.
Again, Abram picks up his journey heading south.
Gen. 12:10 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.
Gen. 12:11 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:
Gen. 12:12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
Gen. 12:13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
Gen. 12:14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.
Gen. 12:15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into PharaohÕs house.
Gen. 12:16 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.
There was a great famine in the land so Abram heads to Egypt to provide for his entourage. We are not given any indication that God instructed him to do this. The last command we heard was for Abram to go to Òa land that I will show thee.Ó He did that and received GodÕs promise to give that land to him and his children. He had trusted God to this point. Why not through the famine? How I can identify!! God is so faithful and provides in so many wonderful ways. Why do I ever worry and doubt that all of a sudden He is not going to come through in a given situation or circumstance? We are so quick to try to Òdo it myselfÓ instead of asking for and waiting on GodÕs direction or provision.
Now we know that Abram was 75 when he left for Canaan. How old was Sarai? (6/07) According to Genesis 17:17 Abram is ten years older than Sarai; so she is 65.
Evidently, she was still very beautiful since Abram decided to lie about the fact that she was his wife because he was fearful for his life. Again, he doesnÕt trust God enough to protect him from the Egyptians.
Sure enough, the Egyptians thought she was beautiful, and she was taken to PharaohÕs palace. Pharaoh gave Abram sheep, cattle, donkeys, servants, and camels because of her.
Gen. 12:17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai AbramÕs wife.
Gen. 12:18 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?
Gen. 12:19 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.
Gen. 12:20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
This section is very interesting because after PharaohÕs house is afflicted with diseases, he realizes it is because of Sarai. By the time he talks to Abram, he knows that Sarai is his wife. So he sends Abram away with Sarai and all his other possessions. We are never told how Pharaoh learns all this. He could have been a lot more violent and angry—but it was like he feared something if he harmed Abram. So, he just told him to leave.