Tag Archives: Genesis 13

Genesis 12–17: Instant gratification is never instant or gratifying

It’s not easy to leave one’s family, even at 75 years old, but God called Abram out of his father’s house for his own good. This was Abram’s first test. 

In the Torah passage לֶךְ-לְךָ Lech Lecha/Lekh Lekha (“go forth,” Genesis 12:1-17:27), we learn that Abram’s faith came from both hearing God’s instruction and doing it. Doing matters, not just hearing. Hearing is easy, doing is much more involved and more difficult. When our life is smooth and we get instant gratification, it’s easy to continue walking in a way that brings a quick blessing. But when we are doing something that is right but we do not receive instant gratification, it’s harder to continue doing what is right.

When God tells us to do the right thing but we don’t want to do it, it’s hard to do it anyway.

Continue reading Genesis 12–17: Instant gratification is never instant or gratifying

Parashat Lech Lecha (לך לך): Genesis 12:1-17:27

camels in Beersheba (Cultural Images of the Holy Land)
Camels in Beersheba (Cultural Images of the Holy Land)

Apostle Paul called Abraham the “father of us all,” those born in Israel and those who have faith like his (Rom. 4:16). In this week’s Torah passage, לֶךְ-לְךָ Lech Lecha (Lekh Lekha) (“go forth,” Genesis 12:1-17:27), we see Abraham’s first move of faith in leaving his homeland for some unknown destination Heaven was leading him toward. His response is an inspiration to us all.

Continue reading Parashat Lech Lecha (לך לך): Genesis 12:1-17:27

Genesis 12–17: From old self to ‘new creation’ in Abraham’s footsteps

Apostle Paul called Abraham the “father of us all,” those born in Israel and those who have faith like his (Rom. 4:16). In this week’s Torah passage, לֶךְ-לְךָ Lech Lecha (“go forth” or “get going,” Genesis 12-17), we see Abraham’s first move of faith in leaving his homeland for some unknown destination Heaven was leading him toward. His response is an inspiration to us all.

His journey plus that of Israel from bondage in Egypt parallels our path on The Way from the person we used to be to the “new creation” God has started in us through Yeshua haMashiakh (Jesus the Christ).

Genesis 12-13: Abram fakes out Pharaoh over Sarai; Abram divvies Promised Land with Lot

Richard AgeeGod calls Abram to leave his father behind and continue traveling towards the land of Canaan. God promises to make Abram’s descendants numerous and make them a great nation. Abram’s name means “exalted father” based on the blessing God gave him in Gen. 12:1-3.

“And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3)

There are two different Hebrew words that are translated as “curse” in both parts of this verse. The first “curse” is קָלַל qalal (Strong’s lexicon No. H7043), which literally means “to slight or consider trifling.” The second “curse” is אָרַר ’arar (H799) which actually means “curse.” In other words, God is saying that He will curse anyone who considers Abram insignificant or slights him.

The first place Abram visited after God told him to leave Haran is a town called Shechem, which near a mountain ridge. The root of the town’s name is שְׁכֶם shekhem (H7926), which means “shoulder” or “backbone.” It’s near the Yarden (Jordan) river and at this time, it’s not a significant settlement but by the time of Jacob, there’s a sizable town at this place.

“The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ So he built can altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.” (Gen. 12:7)

Abram built this altar to commemorate the place where God spoke to him.

Shechem was also the place Ya’akov (Jacob) visited many years later when he wanted to ask God whether he should go to Egypt to see Yosef (Joseph). It’s an important city in the history of Abram and Ya’akov.

After this, he moved towards a mountain east of Beit-’El (Bethel, “House of God”), and built another altar. This is Abram’s second altar. Everywhere Abram went, something happened. God wants us to make note of these locations and to understand why God took Abram to these places.

At this second altar, we are told that Abram “called upon the name of the Lord” there. This time, Abram is starting a conversation with God, while at Shechem, God is the one who spoke with Abram.

Gen. 12:10-20 says Abram went from Bethel to the Negev and then got caught up in a severe famine so he decided to go down to Egypt to escape the brutal famine. God brought forth the famine upon the land of Canaan at this time.

We are told that Pharaoh coveted Sarai and took her into his household. In most English Bible we are told that Pharaoh’s household was struck with a “great plague.” The Hebrew word here is נֶגַע nega (H5061), which literally means “stroke” or “blow.” We are not told the exact nature of this great “blow,” but it was profound enough that Pharaoh threw Abram, Sarai and Lot out of the country as quickly as he could. This is the first time that we are told that Abram had great wealth.

This story is a microcosm of the later Exodus account. In both records, initially they were welcomed and exalted but then they were seen as a curse and cast out with many gifts and riches.

Did Abram make a mistake going down to Egypt in the first place? No, God had His hand in this story. There’s a reason it’s recorded for us. After all, many things Abram did were never recorded for us. We only know what God wants us to know.

After Abram, Sarai and Lot returned to the land of Canaan, Abram’s servants and Lot’s servants started arguing with each other because the land could no longer sustain their increased livestock. Abram made a deal with Lot that if Lot went to the left, he would go to the right and vice versa so that they could spread themselves out and share the land without argument.

The Bible tells us that this land was so beautiful that it was “like the garden of the Lord,” and we are told that Lot chose the more beautiful and prosperous side.

After Lot and Abram went their separate ways, God again dedicates the land to Abram. God tells Abram in Gen. 12:17, “Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.” Abram then sets out for the oaks of Mamre in Hebron and built God a third altar.

Speaker: Richard Agee. Reader: Jeff. Summary: Tammy.

Genesis 13 — ‘righteous’ Lot chooses to live near Sodom

Many have faulted Lot for choosing the good land on the plains near what later became known as the condemned city of Sodom, yet he really was “veiled righteousness” on display in the city. Abram’s choice of places to settle also had lasting consequences. Continue reading Genesis 13 — ‘righteous’ Lot chooses to live near Sodom