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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 16 - Genesis 12-15: God Makes a Covenant with Abram

Today’s Reading: Genesis 12-15

The Message

English Standard Version

Today we return to Genesis. We will stay in Genesis until the end on January 29.

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Abram’s faith in God’s promise is questioned but never lost.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God promises Abram, "I will make you a great nation and blessed all the Earth’s families through you. Leave your family." Abram obeyed God.
The Egyptians caught Abram lying when he, afraid of them killing him for her, said Sarai was his sister. They were kicked out of Egypt.
Abram separated from Lot. Later, Abram rescued Lot from warring kings. After the battle, Abram refused everything from Sodom’s king but gave a tenth to the king of Salem.
God renewed His covenant with the aging Abram, now doubting the promises. Abram believed God once again. This set their relationship right.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God’s promise to Abram was not limited to a foreshadowing of Jesus.

God’s promise of "All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you" (12:3, The Message) was made for the great nation of Israel to bless the world by example and words. Although the nation of Israel came close in a few instances, for the most part this was a complete failure.

Abram’s trip into Egypt showed his weakness of focus.

Abram’s lie happened because he did not trust that God could make good on His promise in the face of the Egyptians’ jealousy. Before we look at his decision unsympathetically, we must first realize he was not directly rejecting God’s covenant but allowed the Egyptian threat becloud his faith. This would happen again and again. We hedge on following God’s plan when we allow our situation to overshadow God’s promises. Where have threats from the world caused you to sidestep God’s plan in your life?

Melchizadek foreshadows Jesus’ spiritual reign over our lives.

Just as Melchizadek receives a sacrifice of Abram’s earnings because he was a priest of God so we give our lives as sacrifices to Jesus because he is our priest. It’s not a ritual priesthood. Melchizadek did not become a priest by earning a degree from a prestigious seminary. Jesus does not reign over our lives because he was a great scholar or great teacher. He reigns over our lives because he is God. And we believe this because we trust God.

Abram’s belief in God’s promise set his relationship right with God.

This is a case where Eugene Peterson’s The Message shines, "And he believed! Believed God! God declared him 'Set-Right-with-God'" (15:6). As Paul would point out later, this did not come from a ritual (circumcision). It came based on his faith. I’ll mention more tomorrow.

What a jam-packed passage! (Try summarizing it in 100 words or less!) Hopefully you were able to get through my comments without being overwhelmed. It’s hard to boil this down to one or two thoughts. As we move beyond Genesis, the comments will get shorter.

As always, What else did you see reading this passage? Questions? Comments? Leave a comment in the section below or on the Sonoma Mountain Parkway Church of Christ Facebook page.