Genesis 12:1, Part 2
Greetings, everyone! Blessings to you in Christ, and welcome to Wednesday’s edition of EDiBS! Thanks for being here today as we take time to open our Bibles, where right now we’re working our way into the twelfth chapter of Genesis as we come back to this book after a year-long hiatus. I love that as we gather around God’s Word and seek His face, He gathers with us, and I’m eager to go to the Scriptures today mindful of His presence. Let’s pray and ask the Lord’s blessing on our study time over these next few minutes.
Lord Jesus, thank you for this time to be quiet, to rid ourselves of distractions, and to focus on you and your Word. We ask that by it you would teach us and transform us, and that through it you would also encourage and sustain us. We do so need you in our lives, and we are truly grateful for your presence with us right now. May your name be glorified in all things! In your precious name we pray, amen.
As we get started today, our reinsertion into the text of Genesis continues with one more day of remembering the past. Our focus: Yet another New Beginning.
The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
Sometimes it’s hard to begin again. It can be frightening. It can be painful. It can feel like a hopeless venture, destined to fail. But when your history is hanging around accusing you, when your present is pummeling you, when an unplanned-for and unwanted change in life suddenly thrusts itself upon you, sometimes you have no choice. You have to begin again whether you want to or not.
Over the first 11 chapters of Genesis, we saw a host of beginnings. Beginnings, of course, is the Hebrew name of the book, and so it’s fitting that we witnessed so many of them, several of which were glorious and beautiful and good. There was the beginning of the world. There was the beginning of the human race. There was the beginning of marriage and of family, and of course, we could name other beginnings as well. Were we to do that, however, we would also have to list some much less auspicious beginnings along with those of the more beautiful variety. We’d have to list the bad along with the good. In Genesis 1-11 we saw the beginning of sin, as well as the beginning of God’s judgment on a sinful world. We saw extreme examples of pride and self-centeredness and ungodliness. Beyond ungodliness (as if that weren’t bad enough), we even saw what can only be described as anti-godliness…a wholesale rejection of the things of God and even the very idea of God. Indeed, by the time Genesis 11 ends and Genesis 12 begins, people are mostly living for themselves and acting as their own gods…that, or fashioning gods from things like wood and stone to worship as they so choose.
Amazingly, however, in the very midst of this ongoing, sad, and sullied state of humanity with all its failings and follies and foibles, we’ve seen something else in evidence as well: the beginning of, the first preaching of, the Gospel. From Genesis 3 all the way to where we presently find ourselves at the beginning of chapter 12, we’ve seen the promise, regardless of the depths of human depravity — or more properly, precisely because of it — of a coming Savior. A Deliverer. A Redeemer. And it’s as we pick things up with the life of Abram and Sarai in Genesis 12 that we see the beginning of a family line which will be the conduit through which our promised Redeemer will arrive. Through Abram and Sarai, contrary to all the bad that has happened thus far in the history of the world, all the families of the earth will be blessed. People everywhere will experience God’s favor. Hope is being born anew. It’s a fundamental change, a huge shift. It is literally a new beginning.
Wrapping things up for the day, what is it that we’re laying out as starting blocks for this second part of our study in Genesis? In short, God — supremely almighty and holy and righteous and just — is also continuing to show Himself as One who is supremely merciful. Think about it: in the face of a fallen creation, He has already given us a glimpse of grace, already put into play His promise of redemption and of His victory over sin, death and the devil, already birthed hope into the lives of a wayward people, and already given help to those who have been caught in the thick of iniquity. There has been an abundance of Law thus far in Genesis to be sure, but more than anything, there has been a superabundance of Gospel, proclaimed to a people with a superabundant need for news that is good. With Abram’s arrival on the scene, that message of grace, mercy, and peace is about to be amplified in a significant and powerful way, and we’ll be highlighting it wherever we can as we study through this portion of Scripture.
When we come back tomorrow, we’ll finally be getting to the text proper here in Genesis 12, and when we do, guess what we’re going to find? It all starts with Abram beginning again! Do make plans to join in, won’t you? I appreciate your time, everyone; do be assured of my prayers for you and yours. God’s peace, and take care!