Journeys of Abraham
“I will make of thee a great nation. Abram came out as God had called him and God gave him the land he had promised him. God had made Abram a great nation through his seed. God blessed Abram with two sons and He has made his name great down through the ages.
In a natural posterity – “as the dust of the earth.”
In a spiritual posterity – Look now toward heaven…so shall thy seed be, ”though all men of faith, whether Jew or Gentile."
Fulfilled also through Ishmael.
Abraham had other children, which he gave gifts and sent away.
“I will bless thee:
“And make thy name great.” Abraham is one of the universal names.
“And thou shall be a blessing.”
“I will bless them that bless thee.”
In fulfillment closely related to the next clause.
“And curse him that curseth thee.”
Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the dispersion. It has invariably fared ill with the people who have persecuted the Jew – well with those who have protected him. The future will still remarkably prove this principle.
7. “In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” This is the great evangelic promise fulfilled in Abraham’s seed, Christ. It brings into greater definiteness the promise of the Adamic Covenant concerning the Seed of the Woman.
The Lord has kept his promise with Abraham, even when Abraham was in the wrong. Genesis 12:17, Abraham prayed unto God and God healed Abimelech. Genesis 22:18
Going back to Bethel to us should mean going back and making the things that are not right (in the sight of God) right before going on in our Christian walk.
The Jews will never be out of the land of Palestine because this is the land that God has promised to give them. Amos. 9:9
The gift of the land is modified by prophecies of three dispossessions and restorations. Two dispossessions and restorations have been accomplished.Israel is now in the third dispersion, form which she will be restored at the return of the Lord as King under the Davidic Covenant.
The command given to Abraham involved great personal sacrifice country, kindred, and home; and also great faith – he knew not where he was going. But the blessing promised was most cheering and comprehensive. It embraced himself; all that favored and honored him, the whole nation that was to spring from him and all the families or the earth. Abraham by faith saw in this last promise the most glorious and blessed of all truths. – The atoning work of the Messiah. (Christ)
The land between the two rivers of the Euphrates and the Tigris known as Mesopotamia was rich soil, black and fertile. The land between two rivers is what Mesopotamia means. Both rivers start, in the Mountains of Armenia and near what is modern Baghdad they are at their closest point of 25 miles. Rainfall in the mountains is about 20 inches a year, but in the valley of the Mesopotamia it was less than 10 inches a year, and was only 2 inches in times of drought. When it rained in the mountains it would flood in the valley. Because of the flooding the people of the region began to make levees (dikes) and later canals in the valley of Mesopotamia. In the time of Abram (which means High Father [he was not a father until his old age and his name was changed to Abraham] which means father of many nations) they had sailing boats in the canals and used these canals to get their goods to market. Not only did the canals water the land but was used for transportation as well. As with modern times the weather was very hot in the summer reaching temperatures of 120 degrees. The people made everything they needed from the soil. They grew flax (linen) and spun it into cloth. They raised cattle and sheep was used for food and wool and leather. Clothing was made from mostly wool. They wove the wool loosely so that it would breathe. The clothing was not close fitting like we use today, but very open so that the air could move easily through it. The surplus from the farms was traded for other things like metal. The farmers of the day had machines to help them plant the grains, which were barley and wheat. Farmers used copper and stone hoes. Copper was mined and exported in ships on the Persian Gulf. Vegetables were an important crop, along with date palms and fruit trees. The area abounded with wild life, which was hunted, like deer, boars, gazelles, and a large variety of birds. Fishing was done using nets, traps and fishing lines.
Now it is important to mention that at the time of Abram the city of Ur (light) was a coastal city with a Persian Gulf port. The Euphrates River and the Persian Gulf was where the city of Ur was located. The two rivers did not come together until a much later date. Streets in the city of Ur were so small and narrow that you could touch both sides of the street with outstretched arms, and they rounded off the corners so that people would not get hurt. Trash was put in these streets so that after time the streets were higher than the homes and they needed stairs to enter their homes. The main form of transportation was donkeys, and horses; oxen were the main draftanimals. Carts were not allowed in the city simply because they did not fit in the streets. They worshiped the moon, he was called Nannar and his wife was called Ningal. They built Ziggurats, which were a form of piramid. (Gen. 14; Joshua 24:2) Some refer to these buildings as a form of the tower of Babel. The middle class had homes of 10 rooms on average (2 stories). The poor had enough room to have a small family but could not add on to their homes because of lack of space. The buildings were butted up next to each other. The homes all had an inner courtyard. They were made form brick and clay, and wood, with the dishes also being made from clay. Abram learned warfare in Ur. Kings ruled and outside Kingdoms were united by marriage and treaties. Abram could have known the writing of the day, which was cuneiform. (Writing on clay)
How important is Abram?
His name is mentioned 308 times in the Bible. Only 74 time in the New Testament and 234 times in the Old Testament. Look at 2 Kings 13:23. Two thousand years are covered in the first eleven chapters of the Bible, but the rest of the book of Genesis covers the life of Abram and his family. We are looking at a period of about 350 years.
We will start the lesson on Abram with his calling. Look at Gen. 12:1-3; Joshua 24:3; Acts 7:3.
1. I will make of thee a great nation.
2. I will bless thee.
3. I will make thy name great.
4. Thou shall be a blessing.
5. I will bless them that bless thee.
6. I will curse them that curse thee. (This is illustrated in the book of Esther)
7. In thee all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Matthew 1:1 is this a reference to Christ entering our lives?
What did God tell Abram to do?
He told him to leave his father’s house. Until he parted from his father’s house unfortunate things continued to happen. Why would I say that? Look at their stop in Haran (means mountainous) Abram stayed their until his father died. Then he took his fathers son’s, son Lot with him to the Promised Land. The command was to leave his father’s house behind. Do we do what God tells us to do? His father’s name Terah, means Delay or Laggard (Joshua 24:2). The death of Terah occurred when he was 205 years old. Look up Acts 7:3,4; Hebrews 11:8.
Lot means concealed or covering. He was covering the truth about himself; He concealed from Abram his true heart, which we see as he and Abraham part in later chapters.
Up to this point Abram left Ur but did not leave Mesopotamia.
How many of us delay doing what God has told us to do? How many of us conceal what is truly in our hearts? How many of us get stuck in the mountains, the high points of our lives, and delay doing what is required of us by God? What do you think is required by God?
Damascus is Abram’s next stop…Look at Gen. 15:1-4.
Eliezer (God is helper) is a type of the Holy Ghost, he is born in Damascus.
Canaan means low region – Are we entering a low place in our life?
Shechem (means shoulder or strong place) is the first place that he pitches his tent in the Promised Land. To me this is a place of decision. This is your own experience with God. Does he talk to you? How does God speak to us? What is our Promised Land? Where is it located? Here I would like to add that we must do as Abram did and forecast our future by building an altar to the Lord Jesus Christ, believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He attacked the problem by following the leading of the Lord. We must attack our problems by doing the same. At Shechem we see the first recorded altar that he erected to the Lord. Jerusalem is thirty miles south of Shechem. Jerusalem means possession of peace. Abram wife’s name is Shari, which means contentious. God speaks to Abram again at Shechem and adds some words to the promises. Look at Gen. 12:1 and then look at Gen. 12:7. “Unto thy seed will I give this land.” Two things were promised here. The first was that he would have seed. The second was the land. How important is the land? Men have fought over this land for centuries.
Compare tent life with city life of the day. In the country you dig a hole for the waste where in the City you walk on and in it. Water comes from wells that you dig for yourself. Water must be carried from the river to the house each day. You must be a part of the commerce of the city you come from, where you are a part of the family of Abram in the Promised Land; his steward was his heir. Compare the land of Canaan with the land of Mesopotamia. One was very rich black soil, the other stony ground; one was sparsely forested where the other had many forested hilltops. One was mostly farmland, the other grazing land. In the Promised Land there was gold, silver, rubies, and many other precious stones. In Mesopotamia they did not have the same mineral wealth. In the land between two rivers they had a king over them, in the Promised Land they had only God who directed them when they were willing to be controlled. What are the main differences? What is the same?
Did Abram bring young fruit trees and date trees with them from Mesopotamia? They didn’t have paper bags. How could they have transported plants and all their household goods to the land of Canaan? What does this tell us about Abram? He had a great deal of knowledge, and was a wealthy man.
Bethel means house of God. Hai means heap of ruins. This place was also called Luz, which referred to the Almond tree. The rod of Aaron was an Almond tree, thought it was dead yet it budded. This is the second stop for Abram. This is the insight to the death and resurrection of Christ. Here he built another altar to the Lord. How important is it for us to go to the house of the Lord? How can we build altars to the most high God? Reading his word daily and finding a place of prayer daily. Gen. 12:9
Famine is when you are without water…your food supply soon follows…Now you must find food and a good supply of water…Abram did not trust God to provide for his families needs and went out of the will of God…down into…Egypt. Egypt is a type of the world. Do we turn to the world or turn to God?
Egypt was the answer for Abram. What happened there was not only meant the loss of his freedom; it was the loss of his victory and the loss of his dignity, because he lied to protect his life. Did he lean on the Lord His God? No, he leaned on the arm of the flesh. How many of us lean on the arm of the flesh?
Egypt in scripture is symbolized as a type of the world. Read Isa. 31:1;
Proverbs 3:5,6; 2:6-8
and Matthew 6:31-33.
Abram sin Grieved God weakened his faith, made him a poor testimony to those around him, and caused others to be afflicted. How are our sins afflicting those around us? At this time Abram aquires Hagar (meaning flight), who later has his first born son Ishmael (which means God hears). This sin also afflicts his unborn son Isaac (meaning Ha! Ha!). Ishmael’s seed afflicts Isaac’s children even today! Isaac later lies about his own wife in the same manner as his father. Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his and all that he had. He left Egypt a rich man.
He returns to Canaan. Gen. 13:1-13
Once he returns to Bethel, he rebuilds the altar. It is the same place he left to go into Egypt in the first place. God appears to him again and reassured him of the blessings that were to come. What would you do if God appeared to you?
Let us talk about the election of God… God’s choice, has he chosen you? Are you willing to act like Abram? Leave your home and family and go to a place that God has prepared for you? How do I trust God with my future? When making up my mind about what I should or should not do is God’s will a part of my decision making process? At this point in Abram’s life he believed God and God counted it for righteousness. Justification took place. He was right with God, his sins were declared washed away. God removed his punishment for sin through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Did Abram see this at Bethel? I believe he did!
Now we see another separation, Lot and Abram.
The pastures are not big enough for the multitude of sheep and cattle. Lot and Abram’s men fight over the pasture. Abram and Lot part ways, Lot pitches his tent toward Sodom or the well watered Jordan (descender) Valley. The rift valley extends 2000 miles from Turkey to Africa. This land is below sea level, and very fertile. In the beginning Lot did not live in the city of Sodom, but over time he was living within it’s gates and was sitting on the city council, so to speak.
Abram moved to Hebron (alliance \ friendship) and built an altar they’re to the Lord.
When they rebelled against Chedorlaomer (they were under tribute to this king for twelve years) he came and fought against the city and took it. Who were these Kings. They came from Babylon, one was a Canaanite, another was an early Persian King (Elam which was a son of Shem), the last two were Asian and Chaldee (to make afraid), which dealt with astrology. The king of Sodom and Gomorrah fled and fell into the slime pits. These slime pits were volcanic activity which refered to ferment, foul, and red with trouble. The battle took place at the Dead Sea.
At this time they took Lot and his family and all their goods back to their land. One man escaped and told Abram.
Mamre the Amorite – to rebel to lash, whip, lift up self
Brother of Eshcol – reproduce –such as bunch of grapes or other fruit.
Brother of Aner – a boy or a girl – growl or yell
Three hundred and eighteen men (armed, trained servants - this implied that they were practised) born in his house. Then he pursued them to Dan (judge).
He divided himself against them by night and smote them and pursued them unto Hobah (hiding place).
By night implies to fold back like a winding stair. The slaughter of the kings says that they all died. Lot the women and the people were returned to the King of Sodom. Sodom means to scorch, burnt, deals with volcanic activity.
The God who reckons us righteous must also make us righteous. He is the King of Justice, our High Priest,
We must be careful to give honor where honor is due. Abram did this when he paid tithes of all the loot to Melchizedek. He refused to take anything from the wicked king of Sodom. Why? God must be given all the Glory in our lives.
What are the promises that God has given to us? Why is Abram the father of faith? Did Abram believe God? Or did Abraham believe God?
H3947 A primitive root; to take (in the widest variety of applications):—accept,
bring, buy, carry away, drawn, fetch, get, infold, X many, mingle, place, receive
(-ing), reserve, seize, send for, take (away, -ing, up), use, win.
Journeys of Abraham
Abraham means the Father of many nations.
1. Ur of Chaldees – Gen. 11:31,32
- Birth place.
- Left with his father for Canaan.
- Haran – Land of the mountains
- Family settles here for a period of time.
- Death of Terah – Idol worshipper, 205 years old when he died. Abram was 75 when he left Haran. Terah was 70 years old when Abram was born. When Abram left Haran \ Terah was 145 years old.
- Abram’ call – chapter 12:1,2, and 3. (Quick to obey)
- Canaan (low region)– Gen. 12:1-8
- Shechem (shoulder) Built an altar.
- Bethel (house of God) On the west and Hai (heap of ruins) on the east.
- Abram moves south – Gen. 12:9
- Abram visits Egypt (Land of Bondage) – Gen. 12:10-20
- Famine in the land is the cause of Abram visit to Egypt.
- Abram’s deception (thou art my sister Gen. 12:13)
- Expulsion from Egypt. Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his and all that he had. He left rich.
- Canaan again. Gen. 13:1-13
- Abram returned to Bethel, and rebuilds and altar.
- Abram and Lot separate.
- Scarcity of pasture.
- Lot chooses the Jordan Valley.
- Abram moves to Hebron (alliance) Gen. 13:18 Gen. 20
- Dan and Hobah what caused the journey?
- Abraham returns by way of Jerusalem (place of peace)
- Pays tithes to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:20) King of Justice, High Priest, a type of Christ.
- The King of Sodom is given everything, because Abram says that he would say that the King of Sodom made Abram rich, this would mar his trust in God as his provider.
- Ishmael born in Hebron (86 years old when born)
- Ishmael means God hears- Type of the flesh.
- Abraham’s lapse at Gerar (holting place) Gen. 20
- Deception repeated.
- The covenant was made with the circumcism.
- Birth of Isaac (laughter)
- Beersheba (Well of oath) Makes home here. Gen. 21, 22:14
- Returns to Jerusalem to offer Isaac. Mt. Moriah (Chosen by the Lord) Jehovah-jireh Lord shall provide. Covenant renewed.
- Recieves word from his family in Haran of Births and Death.
- Death and burial of Sarah. Gen. 23 (127)
- Eleiser is sent for a wife for Issac.
- Abraham dies and is buried at Hebron. Gen. 25
Mamre (strength) 99 years old covenant renewed… Sarai (contention)
Sarah (princess) Abraham (Father of many nations)