Disclaimer: These are my answers to the study questions and are not necessarily “correct.” I primarily use the Amplified version of the Bible.
1. N/A since, sadly, I was unable to attend the lecture.
- I find it interesting to learn the meaning of first testament names. Sarai was named after the moon goddess. This shows that she was born into a heathen household. Now I understand why God changed her name.
- I found the archaeological information about Abram’s homeland fascinating. I have to admit that my amplified Bible had some of this in the notes. One thing I didn’t know was the education system already in place at that time, specifically the advanced understanding of math.
- The challenge questions at the end were, well, challenging.
3. Abram left behind his country, his relatives, the comfort of his father’s house, and his father’s land and therefore his inheritance.
a. Jesus called Peter and Andrew – they left their livelihood and their tools of the trade.
b. They left behind their father and their jobs/family business. It was the accepted social convention of the time to stay close by until your parents died.
c. We must deny ourselves – lose sight of ourselves and our own interests in order to completely follow Jesus.
d. In attitude and commitment, we should be more devoted to God than family and even our own life.
e. Set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfection of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Don’t love or cherish the things of the world. Don’t put our trust in them nor seek earthly pleasures.
a. God promised Abram –
- I will make you a great nation.
- I will show you where to go.
- I will bless you.
- I will make your name famous/distinguished.
- I will make you a blessing to others.
- I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.
- In you will all the families of the earth be blessed.
b. Fulfillment of promises made to Abram –
- Most importantly, Jesus, the Messiah, came from his lineage.
- The Lord scourged Pharaoh and his household with serious plagues when Sarai was taken into his harem. Gen. 12:17
- Abram was extremely wealthy in livestock, silver, and gold. Gen. 13:2
- His descendants (from Isaac) were/are the 12 tribes of Israel.
- His descendants (from Ishmael) were/are the Arab nations.
- Abram’s descendants took possession of the land God promised to him.
- The land promised to Abram is now back in the hands of those believed to be his offspring.
- Great wealth is in the hands of his descendants. The whole earth is dependent on the oil in the hands of Ishmael’s descendants.
- Nations who opposed or oppose his descendants have suffered great defeats.
- Abram’s name is famous. His name has even been found on clay tablets in excavations of his original homeland. (Footnote in Amplified Bible)
6. Promises to Christ followers –
a. He is blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing.
b. The eyes of our hearts will be flooded with light. We have a rich and glorious inheritance.
c. We are raised with Christ and seated in the heavenly sphere along with Him. By so doing, He demonstrates His limitless riches of free grace, His unmerited favor, and His kindness and goodness of heart. (Now that is something to get excited about.)
d. He is revealing to us by His Spirit all that God has prepared for us who love Him [reverently fear, recognize, and obey]
e. He holds and maintains us. He brings us into pleasant places. He gives us a good heritage. He shows us the paths of life. In His presence there is fullness of joy. At His right hand are pleasures forever more.
7. a. Abram’s faith in God was urging and prompting him to go. He was confident that God was worthy of his trust and that He would do what He said He would do.
b. I clearly heard the directive, “Write!” He didn’t say what to write, just “write.” I’ve done so in fits and starts, as did Abram who took some detours and miss-steps along the way. I realize there is no justification for detours and miss-steps. Just confessing.
More recently, we gave up the house of our dreams because we believed God was prompting us to do so.
Also, due to what we believed was God’s prompting, we bought a run down, filthy house to help out an elderly man who needed to move in with his family.
No explicit promises accompanied this directive. Just blind trust that if He called us to do this, He would see us through.
The adventure continues. Walking through this on a moment by moment, day by day basis has been challenging. (I won’t be documenting our pity parties.) It is our sincere hope that we don’t have to live in a “tent” for 100 years like Abram did.
c. We will never be put to shame or disappointed. (I need to make a poster to put on our refrigerator.)
8. a. Gen. 12:4 So Abram left, as the Lord had told him.
- Lot, Abram’s nephew
- Sarai, Abram’s wife,
- The people they had accumulated (servants.)
9. a. To your offspring, I will give this land.
b. He built an altar there to the Lord.
10. a. He continued further into the land rather than staying on the perimeter looking in. Gen. 12:8 He pulled up his tent pegs and departed to the mountains on the east of Bethel. AMP
- Continue to stay with and in the faith, well-grounded and settled and steadfast.
- Walk (regulate your life and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him – rooted. Increasing more confirmed and established overflowing in it with thanksgiving.
- Advance, mature
- Fearlessly confident, steadfast patience and endurance, live by faith, holy fervor born of faith.
- Crave spiritual food that will cause us to grow up unto completed salvation.
11. a. Abram went to Egypt from the Negeb. He went south rather than back to Bethel where the Lord met with him.
While there it isn’t recorded that God was displeased, nor does it specifically say that the famine was a result of Abram’s actions, other scriptures referring to famines do say God sent them. In
2 Sam. 21:1, there was a 3-year famine in the days of David. David inquired of the Lord about the cause. The Lord replied, “It is on account of Saul and his bloody house, for he put to death the Gibeonites.”
Also, 2 Sam. 24:13 David was given his choice of three punishments. He chose to throw himself on God’s mercy rather than man’s.
And since all things work together for the good of those who are called according to His purpose, I’m thinking that whether it was to encourage Abram to return to Bethel or to weaken the inhabitants or Canaan, God was behind it either by allowing it or sending it.
As a side note, I don’t believe God sends calamities as judgment or punishment. If he did, why did Bourbon Street survive the flood of New Orleans?
b. The story does not mention that God directed Abram to go to Egypt to seek relief during the famine nor does it say Abram inquired of the Lord about going to Egypt. I assume that God was not directing his path, especially due to Abram’s fearful behavior while in Egypt.
12. a. Gen. 12:12 Abram said “they will kill me because of you.” Gen 12:13 “Say, I beg of you, that you are my sister…my life will be spared ‘because of you.'” Abram was not trusting in God, he was putting his trust in his own ways and means and in his wife’s agreeing to go along with the lie. Even though she was his half-sister, she was still his wife. He is also looking for favor via his own means rather than trusting in God’s promise.
b. In the Genesis passage, Abram prospers and has favor despite the fact that Abram got out of faith. It could be that going to Egypt during the famine was God’s will for provision and wealth building. Abram’s own mind likely condemned him, however. The verses referenced in Micah seem to point in that direction, but I found it rather obscure. God did “send” Joseph to Egypt ahead of his family before an extended famine. God also sent Mary and Joseph to Egypt until Herod’s death.
c. Pharaoh and his household were cursed because of Abram, but there is no indication that Abram suffered other than knowing what could happen to his wife. How did he know if he would ever get her back? God intervened because Sarai was a part of His plan. He showed Pharaoh the cause of the curse, thereby showing mercy to Pharaoh’s household as well.
13. a. Abram returned back to the Negeb (Judah) escorted by Pharaoh’s men. Then on to Bethel where his tent had been in the beginning. He called on the name of the Lord again.
b. Remain steadfast, don’t doubt. Turn to God in the face of adversity. Seek His direction and provision. Avoid fear at all cost. It leads you to do stupid things.
14. Wow, do I ever feel convicted through this week’s study! So here I am blogging this online. My first blog post in over a year.
I was planning to start this in the fall when BSF classes commenced. But I had a list of things to do before I could blog. (I feel compelled to mention, in my own defense, that I have written
a wee bit offline, but we all know where that feeling came from. So just ignore this.)
I was going to move the blog, get a place set up specifically for writing, get some of the dirtier house remodeling projects done, etc.
God told Abram to go.
Maybe he had a list to do first, too. But there is no record that he delayed.
The thing that kept ringing in my head all week was, Just Do It!