Period of the Patriarchs (Ca. 2100-1525 B.C.)

The Call of Abram

“With the life of Abram a new chapter in the history of God’s dealings with mankind begins.  God’s presence in Abram’s life does not appear to be based upon any special meritorious qualities that Abram himself might possess, but simply because God chooses him as the man through whom he will bless all of mankind.

This life of Abram is more than a historical narrative about a Semitic Aramean wandering throughout Canaan.  It is a life which will later be praised as an outstanding example of faith in God.

As the Genesis record continues, it appears that God had already called Abram at an earlier time, which other Scripture indicates had taken place when Abram was still in his former homeland.  But here God reaffirms the call and covenants a sevenfold promise both to Abram and, through him, to all peoples of the world.”

Read Genesis 12:1-9

Abram Dishonors Himself in Egypt

“Having seen that Abram is a man of great faith, who trusted GOd enough to move to an unknown land, it comes as somewhat of a disappointment to learn that Abram can also be a man of great moral weakness.  Abram’s failure to trust God to deliver him out of any trouble that might result from his being completely truthful shows that Abram’s faith is still a matter of personal struggle.”

Read Genesis 12:10-20

Separation of Abram and Lot

“When grazing land becomes scarce and trouble develops between their herdsmen, Abram sacrifices personal gain in favor of maintaining an important family relationship with Lot.

The solution to his conflict with Lot is not only both practical and gracious on Abram’s part but also further evidence of Abram’s faith in God.  He had come to this area at God’s call and had been promised that his descendants would someday inherit the land.  It also hints of a serious character flaw in Lot which will become more and more evident.”

Read Genesis 13

Defeat of the Kings

The Genesis record shows the transformation of Abram from a wandering Hebrew patriarch into a courageous warrior.  For some 12 to 15 years a power struggle has been taking place among various kings of the East.  Not only do the kings of the eastern federation defeat the local kings, but they also sack Sodom and Gomorrah and take away the inhabitants of those cities, among whom are Abram’s nephew, Lot, and his family. 

Abram responds quickly and unselfishly by gathering a small force of men to rescue his relatives.  As Abram is returning from this exciting venture, he is met and welcomed by King Melchizedek who pays honor to Abram’s heroism and Abram responds by giving Melchizedek a tenth of all they are carrying.  This act will be more fully explained by subsequent text, but Abram recognizes Melchizedek not only as a king but also as a priest in the service of the same true and living God which Abram himself worships.”

Read Genesis 14

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible
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