Sunday, September 30, 2018

Posted on Sep 26 2018

Genesis 12 = Call of Abram and Sarai
Bible Background: This is where the stories of God and God’s world move from “pre-history” to identifiable people, places, and dates. God’s dealing with humankind now focuses on one older, childless couple, to whom God promises many blessings, and will use to bless all families.

Digging Deeper: 1. Abram’s family has previously moved from Ur of the Chaldeans (near the Persian Gulf) to Haran (up near the Euphrates River). Now, God calls Abram to go to the land of Canaan. No reason is given! We don’t know why God chose Abram! Regardless, Abram and Sarai go…with all their possessions, household servants, and nephew, Lot. There are plenty of stories of migration in scripture! Can you think of others?

2. God makes multiple promises to Abram: a) land, b) blessing, c) a great name-like a lasting heritage, d) protection, and e) to use Abram to bless all families of the earth. What do Abram and Sarai have to do to claim these promises? Well, they pretty much have to leave their families, their home, their familiar life behind, and be willing to journey to a completely new life-trusting God to lead them!

3. “Journey” is a descriptive word for a living faith. Life is a journey. School or military service is a journey. Marriage is a journey. Parenting is a journey. Faith is a journey! Journeys take us places, right? They also take us out of our comfort zones. At the same time, journeys lead us to grow and to become the people and the servants God would have us be!

4. “Blessing” is a key idea in this passage too. It may not be an everyday idea in our modern culture. But pause to ask: What blessings does God offer to God’s people? What blessings do I seek? What blessings can I share? For many years at St. John’s, we used the slogan “Blessed to be a Blessing”. What does that suggest to you? (And note: the blessings God was extending to Abram and Sarai were not just for their benefit! Their blessings were to flow to all families of the earth!)

5. In what ways is our congregation a blessing to others? In what way is our nation to be a blessing to others? If God issues report cards, what grade do you think we’d get?

Next week’s reading is: Genesis 25 and 27 where Isaac blesses Jacob.