Genesis 12:1-9

Lectionary Text for March 16, 2014

Old Testament Lesson

Genesis 12:1-9

The Call of Abram

12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.[1]


Our Old Testament lesson draws us to the beginning of God’s chosen people.  The calling of Abram as the father of God’s chosen people is without compromise, a vision of how to understand God’s sovereign choice. 

It must be seen clearly and observed by the trues studier of Scripture that God came and chose Abram.  This is just the same as He made for himself this creation including Adam and Eve; that he chose Noah; and now that He chooses Abram to be the agent through which He will embark on the journey of salvation for His people.  This is not clearer than who is doing all of the “work” in verses 1-3.  The “I” in these verses is clear enough…God is working and not Abram.

Equally so is the parallel Gospel reading for the day which includes the well-known verse of John 3:16, “For GOD so loved the world…”  Even in this verse it must be seen that it is not the believing of God that brought salvation, but that God chose, out of His love, to send His Son to save the world.

Also of interest in this reading is verse 3 and the proclamation of blessing and curse.  Not only is this a proclamation of the result of turning to God for salvation, but it is also a missional stance as equal to that of the Great Commission.  God is proclaiming that His intentions are to save the World and not just the select descendants of Abram.  This promise is also for those who will bless this holy nation for God says, “I will bless those who bless you…”

Lastly, we must render a lesson of faith from our father Abram who upon the calling of God went to a land not his own and left his comfort behind.

In the mission we have been given, we are to do the same.  God is calling you to serve Him where He has placed you in your day to day life.


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ge 12:1–9.