Presentation on theme: "Genesis 12 The Call of Abraham. Genesis 11:31-32 31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law,"— Presentation transcript:
Genesis 11:31-32 31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. 32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
Genesis 11:31-32 Q: Did Stephen make a mistake (Acts 7:4, quoting Genesis 12:1 with commentary) when he said Abram waited until his father was dead before he left Haran? 7:2 – “Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran (Kharran), (3) and said to him, ‘Depart from your country and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’ (4) Then he departed from the land of the Chaldeans, and settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, God removed him into this country in which you are now living”
Genesis 11:31-32 Gen. 11:26 says that Terah ‘lived 70 years and begat Abram, Nahor and Haran.’ If Abram was Terah’s firstborn son, as this implies, then Terah was only 145 years old when Abram left Haran, and Terah lived another 60 years in Haran, dying at 205. Is Stephen wrong? Is the Scripture wrong (fallible, with mistakes in what it records)?
Genesis 11:31-32 The doctrine of inspiration would apply in this case not to Stephen’s speech, but to Luke’s accurate recording of Stephen’s speech (even if Stephen was incorrect). A good Bible student like Stephen, who was about to become the first Christian martyr, probably would not make that mistake, even under duress. Could Stephen mean that Terah ‘became dead’ in relation to God’s plans for him (and sent Abraham on to fulfill those plans)? Perhaps
Genesis 11:31-32 Perhaps God appeared to both Terah and Abram in Ur, and they both set out to Canaan together, father and son. Terah, however, delayed long in Haran, and Abram realized he would not move on to Canaan. Perhaps the comfort and prosperity of Haran was a temptation for him Terah gave in to the idolatries of the Chaldean culture (Joshua 24:2, 14, 15) Perhaps Stephen meant that Terah was ‘dead’ to God’s purposes for him, and the call went to Abraham alone---and Abraham obeyed Jehovah
Genesis 11:31-32 Perhaps what scripture means is not that God called Terah out of Ur of the Chaldees, but rather ‘brought him out.’ But the simple fact of removing from Ur might also be called a leading out, as a work of divine superintendence and guidance, without a special call from God. It was in Haran that Abram first received the actual divine call to go to Canaan (Genesis 12:1-4)
Genesis 11:31-32 “Terah was ‘dead,’ (to the call of Jehovah God) though he would not actually be ready for burial for...another 60 years. This record is a sad commentary on the end of a venerable and once godly patriarch, one who had even been used to record a part of Scripture. In like manner, it is also a sober warning to any in later times who would allow ease or comfort to hinder them from following Christ” (Morris, p. 290)
Genesis 11:31-32 Matt. 8:21-22 “And another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father...” But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead...”
Genesis 11:31-32 I Cor. 9:27 – “But I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified” Terah, although called by God, became a ‘castaway’ (an idolater) He was no longer useful to the Lord He was holding on to the world and its idolatries while still trying to believe in Jehovah God, and hoping to retain His blessings---while worshiping at the shrine of worldliness pleasures
Genesis 12:1 But God turned instead to Abram (Abraham) 1 - “Now the LORD said to Abram,“Go forth from your country and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you” The LORD must not delay the inauguration of his plan for a new nation any longer. What Terah might have been, his son became---a blessing to all the families of the earth through the Nation of Israel, and through the Lord Jesus Christ
A New Nation The dispersion of nations following the Tower of Babel had created many nations, and a multitude of people These nations differed in language, manners, customs, and worship, with many falling into idolatrous practices. The glory of the immortal God was changed into an image made like mortal man, birds, beasts, and creeping things (Rom. 1:23).
A New Nation If God would fulfill His promise to not smite the earth again with a curse of destruction because of sinful practices, something must be done to preserve His worship There were a few men and women and children here and there who retained some knowledge of the true God, even among those who practiced polytheism Job and Melchizedek These genuinely loved God and tried as best they could to maintain a form of true spiritual worship among their own families and communities
A New Nation Those who worshiped Jehovah were few and far between, and there was a real danger that in just a generation or two, the knowledge of God would vanish from the earth. Approximately 2000 years after creating mankind, and destroying them in a Flood 1700 years later, and saving 8 people, and saving 8 people, and allowing them to begin again, and then inhibiting their rebellion by giving them different languages and ways of understand God is going to begin a new approach – through a man, and through his family, a new nation
A New Nation God is going to form a Nation for Himself, a people to be the recipient and preserver of His salvation, which would be in opposition to the rising kingdoms of the idolatrous world. This new nation would also establish a saving fellowship for mankind, with the living God The foundation for this nation was laid by God in his call and separation of Abram from his people and country, making him, by special calling and guidance, the father of a nation from which the salvation of the world would come (K & D, p. 181)
A New Nation While other nations were left to follow their own course according to the powers conferred upon them, in order that they might learn that without fellowship with the living God, it was impossible to find peace for the soul, and the true blessedness of life Acts. 17:26-27 – “And He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Paul)
A New Nation Abram was called, that through him all the families of the earth might be blessed (12:1-3) The divine guidance of the human race assumed in the call of Abram was connected with the general development of the world By the fact that Abram belonged to the family of Shem, whom God had bless By the fact that Abram was not called ALONE, but was married to Sarai, his one wife
A New Nation The continuity of the divine revelation since creation was guaranteed, as well as the plan of human development established by Jehovah God, through this new family Although the worship of Jehovah was preserved in the families of Shem, and in a form purer than in the other families of Noah, even in the house of Terah, father of Abram, there was the corrupting influence of idolatry. Although Abram was called as the father of the nation to be formed, Sarai, his wife, was barren
A New Nation Therefore, in the way of nature, a new family could not be expected to spring from Abram Almighty Jehovah God would have to perfect a new beginning The grace of God prepared the ground for the coming Israel Abram would be the man chosen because of his faith
A New Nation The early stages of this history are recorded in Genesis, corresponding to Abram, his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob---and Jacob’s 12 sons. In the triple number of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the divine election of the nation, and the entire formation of the character and guidance of the life of Israel were to attain their fullest typ-ical manifestation These are the pivots upon which all divine revelation are made to turn (K & D, p. 182)
A New Nation The revelation consisted mostly of Promises, fulfilled in the lives of the Patriarchs The fulfillments themselves were predictions and pledges of the ultimate and complete fulfillment, reserved for a distant, or remote future. Jehovah’s guidance would vouchsafe the calling forth of faith in response to the promise, which would maintain itself amid all the changes of this earthly life (K & D, p. 183 paraphrased)
A New Nation “A faith, which laid hold of the word of promise, and on the strength of that word gave up the visible and present for the invisible and future, was the fundamental characteristic of the patriarchs” (Delitzsch, K & D, p. 183) Abraham manifested this faith, and was sustained by great sacrifices, enduring patiently, and by self- denying obedience, became the father of believers (Rom. 4:11) Isaac also was strong in patience and hope; Jacob wrestled in faith in painful circumstances of various kinds, until he secured the blessings of the promises