Day 5, and you’ve almost finished your first week!
From Genesis chapter 12 to the end of the book the biblical narrative follows four individuals and their families: Abraham, his son Isaac, then his son Jacob, and finally, Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Jacob (the Jacob who was renamed Israel). These are often called “the patriarchs”, or “the fathers.”
This is the story of Abraham’s family and God’s promises to them and his preservation of them despite their problems and sinfulness. From this family line would come the One promised by God, who would remove the curse from the fall (Gen. 3:15), and restore us to God as his beloved sons and daughters.
As you read in Genesis, remember that these men and women were influenced by the culture of their day, just as we are by our culture today. Not everything they did was approved by God. God in his sovereignty allows, and over-rules, even the sinful actions of men and women.
Some highlights to note…
(Gen. 12:1-3) God promises blessing to come to all nations through Abraham.
(Gen. 15:6) Abraham’s faith was counted as righteousness before God. Abraham’s faith is explained in more detail in the New Testament, for example, in Romans 4 and Hebrews 11.
(Gen. 16:7ff) God shows mercy and care for Hagar, who was caught up in Sarah’s conspiring.
(Gen. 17:7-8) God says, “I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” (ESV) Compare this with Revelation 21:3… “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (ESV) God’s intent in salvation, and in bringing us into covenant with him, is that we would enjoy his glorious presence forever. For the Christian today this means the presence of the Holy Spirit. (Gal. 3:14)
(Gen. 18:14 ESV) “Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” Compare this with Gabriel’s words to Mary: “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)
(Gen. 18:25) “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” Abraham intercedes with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. God answers Abraham’s concerns and so reveals that he is completely fair in his justice.