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A PATRIARCH’S FAITH AND FEAR
Victor M. Eskew
I. THE TITLE OF GENESIS 12
A. A Patriarch’s Faith and Fear
B. Abram’s Journeys
C. Promised Land and Pagan Land
D. A Man of Faith, but Human
E. A Commanded Move and A Compelled Move
II. THE KEY VERSE OF GENESIS 12: Gen. 12:4-5
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. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s 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.
Why this text? This text begins the journey of Abraham into unknown places. It ties his departure with the Word of God. Abraham is now the patriarch since his father, Terah, died in Haran. Abram is now privy to where he is going.
III. OUTLINE OF GENESIS 12
i. CANAAN (Gen. 12:1-9)
ii. EGYPT (Gen. 12:10-20)
IV. LESSONS FROM GENESIS 12
A. Genesis 12:1-3 will form the foundation of the rest of the Old Testament until the death of Jesus Christ. It contains a three-fold promise that God will slowly bring the pass through Abram and his descendants.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: 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: 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.
1. The Land Promise
2. The Nation Promise
3. The Seed Promise
B. There are two words that stand out in Genesis 12:1-3, the words “I” and “thee.”
1. “I” refers to the Lord and “thee” refers to Abram.
2. God always works His plans through humans. He can and will still work through us (Phil. 2:13).
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do his good pleasure.
C. God promised to make Abraham’s name great (Gen. 12:2). His name is known among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
D. The Bible definition of faith is seen in Genesis 12:1, 4.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country…So Abraham departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him…
1. God spoke. Abraham heard and did as God commanded.
2. Hebrews 11:8
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
E. “…and the Canaanite was then in the land” (Gen. 12:6).
1. Canaan was one of the sons of Ham (Gen. 10:6).
2. We read of the families that came from him in Genesis 10:15-18.
3. We are told of the borders of his land (Gen. 10:19).
And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.
4. Because of the actions of his father concerning Noah, a curse rested upon him (Gen. 9:24-25).
F. Men of God have always been men of worship. Twice we are told that Abram “builded an altar unto the Lord” (Gen. 12:7, 8). The Father still seeks true worshippers (John 4:23-24).
But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
G. For some reason, Abram seems to have left God out of his plans when he went down to Egypt.
1. Two missteps:
a. Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there (Gen. 12:10).
1) God had been called by God to go into Canaan.
2) Was he supposed to go into the land of Egypt? Was this authorized by God?
b. Abram developed a plan of deceit to save his life from the Egyptians (Gen. 12:11-13).
2. We can do the same thing in our lives. We can turn from the wisdom of God found in the Bible and begin to follow our own desires and make our own plans.
3. There numerous other texts in God’s Word that talk about trusting in ourselves.
a. Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
b. Proverbs 28:26a
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool…
c. Jeremiah 9:23
Thus said the Lord, Let not the wise glory in his wisdom…
d. I Corinthians 3:18-20
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are foolish.
H. What was it that made Abram’s actions in Egypt wrong?
1. Sarai was his half-sister (Gen. 20:12).
And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
2. The deception came in not revealing all the facts to Pharaoh. This failure would bring harm to Pharaoh.
I. The results of the deception.
1. …and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house (Gen. 12:15).
2. And he entreated Abram well for her sake… (Gen. 12:16).
3. And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues… (Gen. 12:17).