Genesis 12

The path into which God calls the believer may often be trying to the flesh,
but this does not necessarily indicate that he is out of God’s will.

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

¶ And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.

10 ¶ And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.

11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:

12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.

13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.

14 ¶ And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.

15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.

16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.

17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife.

18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?

19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.

20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.

Genesis 12:1-9 – God’s Call and Promise to Abram

God’s commands are always associated with promises. Count the shalls and wills here. He does not give His reasons, but He is lavish of His promises. The keynote of Abram’s life was Separation. Step by step, until country, kindred, Lot, worldly alliances and fleshly expedients were one by one cast aside and he stood alone with God! Though he knew not whither he went, the father of the faithful obeyed, and crossed the wide and perilous deserts. It was this absolute and unquestioning obedience that endeared him to God. Let us ever obey and step out, though it seems as though there were nought but seething mist. We shall find it solidify under the tread of faith. Read Romans 4:16; Hebrews 11:8. Notice the combination of the Tent and Altar. The tent-life is natural to the man whose portion is God; and where he pitches his tent he will rear his altar. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Genesis 12:1 – Get thee Out.

   Never did a corn of wheat more utterly fall into the ground to die. It seemed as though he were urgently needed in his country and among his kindred; but man’s thoughts and ways are not God’s. The blessing of Abraham’s life could only come in the land of promise, and after he had died to the whole life of nature. To every one who is to be richly blessed and made a blessing there is the inevitable command, “Get thee out. Be willing to die.”
   Get thee out of the land of idols.—Beyond the flood of the Euphrates, Terah and the rest served other gods. Had Abram remained there, he might have touched the unclean thing; hence God’s desire to get him beyond the reach of infection, that he and his race might remain monotheistic. Hast thou had communion with darkness, with Belial, with idols? Get thee out and be separate; touch not the unclean thing. Be clean, thou who art to bear the vessels of the Lord. Reckon thyself to have died.
   Get thee out in loneliness.—“I called him alone…and increased him” (Isaiah 51:2). If thou art unwilling to abide alone, thou must fall alone into the ground and die. God must reduce us to a minimum before He can work through us to the maximum. But there is no loneliness to the soul who is one with God. Alone against the world, it is still in a majority.
   Get thee out in faith.—“He went out, not knowing whither” (Hebrews 11:8). It was what man calls a venture; but as he stepped out on what seemed a void, he found it rock beneath his feet. Day by day a track appeared across the desert, and all his needs were met till he reached the place of blessing. Death was the gate of life. Having died to Haran, he began to bring forth much fruit in every soil of the world. —Our Daily Homily

Genesis 12:1 – This same voice has often spoken since. It called Elijah from Thisbe, and Amos from Tekoa; Peter from his fishing nets, and Matthew from his toll-booth; Cromwell from his farm in Huntingdon, and Luther from his cloister at Erfurt. It ever sounds the perpetual summons of God. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Has it not come to you? Strange, if it has not. Yet, if it has, let nothing hinder your obedience; strike your tents, and follow where the God of glory beckons; and in that word “Come,” understand that He is moving on in front, and that if you would have His companionship, you must follow. (F.B. Meyer)

Genesis 12:2-3 – It is good for us to think that no grace or blessing is truly ours till we are aware that God has blessed some one else with it through us. (Phillips Brooks)

Genesis 12:10-20 – Abram and Sarai in Egypt

It is a comfort that the Holy Spirit permits us to trace the successive stages through which the father of those who believe made his way to the maturity of faith. We all stumble as we step out on the difficult path. But God is patient with His dull scholars and protects them. See Psalm 105:15. It was certain that no weapon formed against him could prosper, nor God’s promise fail, yet Abram meanly sacrificed Sarai with his pitiful proposition for his own safety. This doubting outbreak would never have occurred, unless the patriarch had gone down to Egypt, which in Scripture stands for creature-confidence. See Isaiah 30:1. The God of glory, who had sent him forth, was responsible for his maintenance in Canaan, even though famine prevailed. He ought to have stayed quietly in the position to which God had called him, leaving the Almighty to provide. Live with God in the heights; and do not go down into Egypt. —Through the Bible Day by Day