Session 5B: Abraham and the Nations Genesis 11:27-16:16. Genesis: a 12-session study. REVIEW & PREVIEW Genesis Structure. Genesis 1: wide angle view of creation God works 6 days, then rests the 7 th day. Rest is a gift from God.
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Covenant – A binding agreement (“contract”) between two parties, typically involving a formal statement of their relationship, a list of stipulations and obligations for both parties, a list of witnesses to the agreement, and a list of curses for unfaithfulness and blessings for faithfulness to the agreement. The Old Testament is more properly understood as the old covenant, meaning the agreement established between God and his people prior to the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the new covenant (New Testament).
Faith – Trust in or reliance upon something or someone despite a lack of concrete proof. (Faith can and often does involve trust developed through past proof or experience.) Salvation, which is purely a work of God’s grace, can be received only through faith (Rom. 5:2; Eph. 2:8–9). The writer of Hebrews calls on believers to emulate those who lived godly lives by faith (Hebrews 11).
Prophesies Abram’s descendants will be afflicted for 400 years, and that God would bring them out with great possessions. (It later happened in Egypt.) They will return to Canaan “in the fourth generation.” Abram will live long.
After sundown, God appears as a smoking firepot and a flaming torch and passes between the animal pieces.
When a covenant participant does pass between the animal pieces, it says, “May what happened to these animals happen to me if I should break this covenant.” (Jer 34:18-20)
God alone passes between the pieces. (Gen 15:17)
This is a unilateral (one-way) covenant by God alone.
Later, Abram is given circumcision, a two-way covenant.
God is saying that He would rather die than to break His promise.
In weddings, going down the center aisle is a form of “passing between the pieces” of two families in covenant ceremony. Marriage is a covenant, not designed to be broken, except in death. It is to say, “I would rather die than to break my wedding promise to you.”
Ge 16:2.2 And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
Sarai doubts God’s promise, trying to fill it her own way.
Other ancient texts also mention the custom of using a maidservant to bear children on behalf of the wife.
Abram goes along with his spouse.
Does this remind you of The Fall of Adam & Eve again?
Hagar calls him “You are the God of seeing” or “You are the God who sees me”.
This is spoken to “the angel” as though he were God.
God sees everything that happens to us.
Those who hurt us are accountable to God.
The angel’s promisehas elements similar to God’s promise to Abram. The angel’s words are taken as God’s words. Therefore, some theologians believe this to be the pre-incarnate Christ: not merely “an angel” but “THE MESSENGER”.
The local well is named “Well of the Living One who Sees Me”.
Abram was 86 when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.
Ishmael is the first born son, but not the heir to the promise.
In the Ancient Near East, the first born son is expected to be the heir.
God is not bound to anyone’s culture.
God has his own culture. As we read the Bible, we are reading to find out what God’s expectations are. We are not trying to view the Bible through the eyes of our own culture, but through the eyes of God.