There is no more central passage to the book of Genesis, and perhaps the entire Old Testament, than Genesis 12:1-9. I’ll even suggest it is absolutely central to a good understanding of the entire Bible. God begins to reveal, in this week’s passage, an important covenant with Abram (soon to be called Abraham), with eternal ramifications for generations to come. Abram didn’t sit down to negotiate this covenant with God. It was a unilateral act of God containing unconditional promises to Abram with benefits available to “all the nations of the earth.” It wasn’t a covenant superseded by the New Covenant, like the Mosaic covenant. It is fully a covenant of grace, not of works. It is a covenant very much in effect and with benefits available to all who hear and put their faith in this great promise of God.
Abram serves as one of the greatest examples of faith in the Bible and was a recipient of God’s grace through this covenant. Yet, as this passage demonstrates, faith in God and His promises is demonstrated by life changing obedience. Abram serves as a great example of how that faith is demonstrated, which will become clearer each week as we continue our journey through the book of Genesis.
Come join us Sunday at 10:30 as we worship God together.
The Apostle Paul told the young Timothy that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Yes, that even applies to our very long passage from Genesis 10 and 11 this Sunday. It contains a great deal of genealogical information which you might want to dismiss as, initially, unimportant. But the truth is, it has a great deal of theological significance and is applicable to every generations from that time until Christ returns. It effectively shows us that self-security without God is insanity. You probably already know that, but do you believe that? Do you live as if it is true? Lots of people don’t, and will go to great lengths to deny it. They do so at their own peril.
While it seems that the passage is focused on a variety of persons and nations, overall it is really making a statement about God, Himself. It would even be correct to say that it makes several statements about God, and these statements, and how you react to them, makes quite a statement about you. It’s like the author of Hebrews said, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” May God’s word discern the thoughts and intentions of our hearts with Genesis 10 and 11 this Sunday.
This will be the last week Genesis will focus on the life and faith of Noah. The book has spent several chapters chronicling the work of God in Noah’s life and has been particularly mindful of his exemplary character. So, it may surprise you that the last section to report on Noah would end on such a sour note. It’s passages like this which remind you that no human author of the Bible would record a story where the hero and the first family of the new world falls headlong into sin. If the Bible was merely an inspiration of man, it would cut and paste only those stories which shed a positive light on the heroes of the faith. But that’s not the case. The family from which all the peoples of the earth will come from has now found itself, somewhat, in dysfunction. God has seen to it that Moses preserved this sorted tale for us in Genesis 9. But what possible reason does God have for revealing these series of incidents? What is it that we can learn from them? I believe it reveals a few truths about faith and righteousness and our need, as Christians, to be diligent in genuinely pursuing and resting in both.
Did you know that God has a message for you and me in the rainbow? At the most basic level, the rainbow serves as a reminder of God’s covenantal promise to refrain from destroying the world by flood ever again. But it serves as a reminder of much more than that. It reminds us that God orders the present world for human existence; all human existence. It is what’s referred to as common grace. God provides for the existence of all humans, whether they acknowledge Him or not. God has promised to provide for the existence of all the creatures of the earth, with no strings attached. It is a unilateral and unconditional promise of God. As we’ll see on Sunday, it is also a multi-faceted promise.
Why does God make such a promise, despite the fact that intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth? It is because of the goodness of God’s heart and the value He has placed on human life made in His image. God’s common grace and goodness abounds all around us. There’s no escaping it. Do you see it? Do you recognize it for what it is? Whether there’s a rainbow in the sky on Sunday morning or not, we’ll learn from Genesis about the extraordinary nature God’s faithfulness and promises and how that affects our Christian worldview and actions.