Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 12

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: To Record God's Creation and Identify His Plan (c 1-22)
Theme: The Story of Abraham (c 12-25)
Message: God Promises a Nation to Abraham (v 1-20)

Genesis 12 Commentary

(12:1) God's Call to Abram - When God called him, Abram moved out in faith from Ur to Haran and finally to Canaan. God then established a covenant with Abram, telling him that he would found a great nation. Not only would this nation be blessed, God said, but the other nations of the earth would be blessed through Abram's descendants. The people of Israel, the nation that would come from Abram, were to follow God and influence those with whom they came in contact. But the greatest blessing of all is that through Abram's family tree, Jesus Christ was born to save humanity, Through Christ, people can have a personal relationship with God and be blessed beyond measure.

(12;2-4) Abram Obeys God - God promised to bless Abram and make him great, but God had one condition: Abram had to do what God wanted him to do. This meant leaving his home and friends and traveling to a new land where God promised to build a great nation from Abram's family. Abram obeyed, walking away from his home for God's promise of even greater blessings in the future. God may be trying to lead you to a place of greater service and usefulness for him. Don't let the comfort and security of your present position make you miss out on greater opportunities God has for you.

(12;5-6)  Abram goes to Canaan - God planned to develop a nation of people he would call his own. He called Abram from the pagan, self-centered city of Ur to a fertile region called Canaan, where a God-centered, moral nation could be established. Though small in dimension, the land of Canaan was the focal point for most of the history of Israel as well as for the rise of Christianity. This small land given to one man, Abram, has had a tremendous impact on world history.

(12:7) God's Altars -  Altars were used in many religions, but for God's people, altars were more than places of sacrifice. For them, altars symbolized communion with God and commemorated notable encounters with him. Built of rough stones and earth, altars often remained in place for years as continual reminders of God's protection and promises. Abram regularly built altars to God for two reasons: (1) for prayer and worship, and (2) as reminders of God's promise to bless him. Abram couldn't survive spiritually without regularly renewing his love for and loyalty to God. Building altars helped Abram remember that God was at the center of his life. Regular worship helps us remember what God desires and motivates us to obey him.

(12:10) Abram faces Famine - When famine struck, Abram went to Egypt, where there was food. Why would God allow a famine in the land where he had just called Abram? This was a test of Abram's faith, and Abram passed. He didn't question God's leading when facing this difficulty. Many believers find that when they determine to follow God, they immediately encounter great obstacles. The next time you face such a test, don't try to second-guess what God is doing. Use the intelligence God gave you, as Abram did when he temporarily moved to Egypt, and wait for new opportunities.

(12:11-13) Abram Sins -  Abram, acting out of fear, asked Sarai to tell a half-truth by saying she was his sister. She was his half sister (see 20:12), but she was also his wife--a practice that was considered acceptable at the time (it was only later forbidden by God; Leviticus 18:9). Abram's intent was to deceive the Egyptians. He feared that if they knew the truth, they would kill him to get Sarai. She would have been a desirable addition to Pharaoh's harem because of her wealth, beauty, and potential for political alliance. As Sarai's brother, Abram would have been given a place of honor. As her husband, however, his life would be in danger because Sarai could not enter Pharaoh's harem unless Abram was dead. So Abram lost faith in God's protection, even after all God had promised him, and told a half-truth. This shows how lying compounds the effects of sin. When Abram lied, his problems multiplied.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Faith on the Journey

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 12, and in today's text, we see the descendants of Noah, Abram (soon to be Abraham), having an encounter with God in which he instructs Abram to go to a new land. What stands out to me is the part where Abram has to go to Egypt because of famine and lies about his wife Sarai telling Pharaoh that she is his sister because he is afraid Abram will kill him. Although Abram had faith to do what God told him, he lacked the complete faith to trust Him on the journey. In making an application, I can relate to Abram as I, too, have this partial faith from time to time. Doing what God has called me to do but doubting Him on the journey when an unexpected bill comes due or placed in a situation doubting myself. The truth is that God is God. If he tells you to do something to do, then He will be with you on the Journey. How about you? Are you trusting God to get you where He is leading you? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Abram to Have faith, and trust the Lord, as He will deliver you on the Journey He Leads you to.thing to do then He will be with you on the Journey. How about you? Are you trusting God to get you where He leading you? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Abram to Have faith, trust the Lord, as He will deliver you on the Journey He Leads you too.


Genesis 12

Genesis 12

 1Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

 2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

 3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

 4So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

 5And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

 6And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

 7And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

 8And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

 9And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.

 10And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.

 11And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:

 12Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.

 13Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.

 14And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.

 15The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.

 16And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.

 17And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.

 18And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?

 19Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.

 20And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.