Terah gathered his family, Abram and Sarai included, and left for Haran (end of Genesis 11), leaving behind the wicked neighbors of Ur, and all those loyal to Nimrod.
Their journey took the family to the southeast corner of modern Turkey. Haran, interestingly enough, resides in one of the most active and important trade routes in the history of the world and has been continuously inhabited til this day. Additionally, every major army marched through Haran, and if you wanted to get rich, Haran was a good place to start.
And it should be said, Abram got rich.
Terah died in Haran, and then God spoke to Abram.
Land. Seed. Blessing.
Unique to Jesus’ followers is their ability to hear the voice of the Lord.
In Abram’s case the words are astonishing, go from your father’s house, which for Abram came with the potential loss of wealth, and go from your country, kindred and father’s house, to the land I will show you. The vision was vague and probably drove Sarai crazy.
The next words are beyond human understanding. I will make you a great nation, the Lord said, the verb make in Hebrew is asah, the same word God spoke in Genesis 1:7 during the creation account, and God made (asah) the expanse and separated the waters. What the Lord said was showstopping considering Abram had no kids and Sarai was barren.
I will bless you, the Lord said, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
The promise does not stop there, more is coming.
I will bless those who bless you, and those who dishonor you, the word dishonor often translated curse is not the actual word for curse. The word dishonor comes from Noah’s flood, when Noah sent out a dove to see if the waters had receded, the word receded, qalal, is the same word used for dishonor.
But the word curse was used in the next phrase, any person who pulls Abram down in any way shape or form faces a curse, and that word for curse is one of the most powerful words found in the Bible, it is the same word used Genesis 3:14, when the Lord spoke a literal curse over the devil.
All this took place when Abram was 75.
God spoke to Abram about land that was his forever, seed from his own bloodline, and blessings through him to all families on planet earth.
Abram immediately left Haran, but did not obey the exact instructions of leaving family behind, a full obedience would take some time to develop. Abram took his nephew Lot along with him and would pay the price for that action.
The text says Abram acquired people, best not to think of American slavery, but as employee’s in a family business. Abram was by all witness a highly successful and great businessman, and God was with him. Everyone wants to play on the winning team, and to follow Abram was to follow a great winner. Those folks were not running away from Abram, they were running toward him.
Abram went south into Canaanite territory, into what we know as modern Israel. Already at work is God’s sovereign hand. Abram came to an oak in a town called Shechem, and the Lord appeared to him and said I will give you this land. He built an altar there to the Lord. From that time on, the territory belonged to the Lord. Hundreds of years later, when Joshua entered the land, there was no need to go at war with Shechem because they easily gathered themselves to Joshua, Abram’s blessing was still with those people.
Truth or Half Truth
Famine broke out and Abram was forced to survive in Egypt, lacking boldness and faith, he threw his wife under the bus and asked her to tell a half-truth, you are my sister. A fuller explanation will come to us in chapter 20, but suffice to say this is not the only time Abram will claim his wife is his sister, in that sense he is telling the truth because they share the same father. but not the same mother.
Sarai is known for her beauty amongst women, and powerful men wanted her. The Bible cannot tell a lie, Sarai was gorgeous.
The sojourn into Egypt was a foreshadow, later one of Abram’s kin, a wonderful young man named Joseph will find himself in Egypt against his will. At this moment God intervenes and Pharaoh is afflicted with plagues, which he recognizes must have come from God favoring Abram. Pharoah chews Abram out, claims innocence (he was to a certain degree), and sends the chosen couple back into Canaanite territory.
Click Here For Genesis Chapter 13