Highlights In Today's Reading:
What a time to be alive. Note industrial lineage from Ham; intellectuals from Japheth; spiritual through Shem, from which came the Savior. Seeking personal fame, the descendants make 'monumental' error (11:4). In contrast, God introduces the Hebrew race beginning with Abram.
Verses for Today:
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country . . . unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great. . . . And Abram passed through the land . . . unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. . . . and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land (Gen. 12:1-2,6,10).Abram had many lessons to learn as he journeyed by faith to the land of promise. God had promised Abram that He would make of him a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great (12:2).
You can imagine how surprised Abram was when he arrived in the plain of Moreh, a place near Shechem (12:6) only 30 miles north of Jerusalem, where he faced the Canaanites who controlled the land. As an additional test of faith, there was a famine in the land (12:10).
Without praying for direction from the Lord, Abram left the land of promise and went "down" into Egypt for food. Like we often do, he looked to the natural resources rather than the supernatural source.
As a result of going "down" to Egypt, he encountered and yielded to a further temptation. To hide the full truth about his wife, he said she was his sister, thus leaving her vulnerable to other men (12:11-15). Later, in a much greater test of Abram's faith, God revealed Himself as Jehovah-jireh — the God who will provide (22:14).
The patience of God with Abram should help each of us see that He truly love us and is merciful, as well as sufficient to meet every need and keep every promise. How prone we are to look to our own resources rather than trust the Lord! But, we need not turn to questionable practices in order to provide for ourselves.
The call that came to Abram comes to each of us. Every incident that Abram experienced is similar to what all of us face during our lifetimes. Each of us needs complete confidence in and obedience to the Word of God. It is essential to prepare us for greater blessings.
Thought for Today:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth (II Tim. 2:15).
As the Promised Seed of Abram (Gen. 12:3,7; comp. Matt. 1:1; Acts 3:25-26; Gal. 3:16). Abram was a type of Christ who leads the way to a far better promised land (John 14:2-4,6; Heb. 11:8-10).
10:5 isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands =they became separate nations; isles was a term used by the Hebrews to designate all countries accessible to them by sea, including those of Europe; after his tongue =according to their language; 11:3 Go to =come; slime =probably pitch and tar; 11:4 upon =over; make us a name =become a great people; glorify ourselves rather than God; lest we be =instead of our being; 11:9 confound =confuse; 12:5 substance =possessions; 12:7 seed =descendants, offspring; 12:10 sojourn =live temporarily; grievous =severe.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Vincent & Rebecca Naughton • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Country: Country: Sierra Leone (5 million) in western Africa • Major language: English • Increasing restrictions on Christian work in some areas • 50% belief in river spirits, medicine men, and witchcraft; 39% Muslim; 7% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Seek God in prayer with your whole heart and He will hear you (Jer. 29:12-13).
Optional Reading: Matthew 4
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 23:3