18 April 2021 PM – Genesis 11:10-12:5 – Gen2021 – Scott Childs
Introduction: A family tree is diagrams one’s ancestors as the roots of a tree. This evening, we are going to look at the roots of Abram’s family tree. After God divided the languages at Babel, some of Shem’s family settled in Ur south of Babel. [See map] One of Shem’s grandsons was Uz (10:23). He may have settled the area where Job lived (Job 1:1). Abram was born there in Ur about 250 years after Babel. It seems that Abram was one of the few who still had faith in God.
Transition: As we examine Abram’s roots, we will find several principles that can give us direction as we face life’s challenges.
1. Abram’s Family
a. Abram’s father was Terah, Ge 11:27
1) Terah was the 9th generation after Noah. (Chart)
a) Terah was a descendent of Shem, born 222 years after the flood ended.
b) He begat three sons after he was 70, Ge 11:27.
c) The order of sons listed appears to be back to front with Haran being the eldest and Abram the youngest born 60 years later. (Compare the similar statement about Noah, Ge 5:32).
(1) Terah died at age 205, Ge 11:32
(2) Abram then left Haran at age 75, Ge 12:4
(3) Terah must have been 130 when Abram was born.
2) Abram must have been born 352 years after the flood.
3) Abram married Sarai, Ge 11:29. Sarai was his half-sister, Ge 20:12. They were married while they still lived in Ur, Ge 11:31.
b. Abram’s family worshipped idols, Josh 24:2
1) By the time Abram was married, the flood had been over for about 400 years and about 300 years had passed after the tower of Babel.
2) People had scattered around the world, but evidently, almost everyone had turned from God to idols. This had been true even of Abram’s father. (Joshua 24:2) “And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.“
3) This ought to be a fearful warning to us that, unless biblically trained, children usually take a weaker, less godly stand than their parents.
a) I believe this is the reason God repeatedly commands parents to teach the Bible to their children. Note God’s emphasis in: (Deuteronomy 6:6-7) “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.“
b) If you do not walk close to the Lord and carefully teach your children to do the same, your next generation will be less godly than you are.
2. Abram’s Call
a. God called Abram to separate, Ge 12:1
1) Terah led his family, including Abram and Sarai from Ur of the Chaldees toward Canaan, but they stopped in Haran and dwelt there (Ge 11:31-32).
a) Perhaps Abram became the family’s spiritual leader and urged his dad to leave Ur. God did not tell him where to go, but He promised to show him.
b) Jewish traditions states that the unbelievers in Ur cast Terah’s family out because they worshipped the God of heaven (Book of Judith quoted by Whedon).
2) Evidently, before leaving Ur, God spoke to Abram, directing him to separate from his country, his kindred, and his father’s house (Ge 12:1; Ge 15:7; cf. Ac 7:2-3).
3) Separation is a frequent subject in the Bible. Sin is like a pandemic – it is contagious and spreads through contact. God warns. (Psalms 1:1) “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” (Proverbs 4:14) “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.” (Proverbs 19:27) “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.“
4) God uses separation for our protection.
5) God’s call to service begins with a call to separate from our plans to do His plans. Do not fear to answer if God calls you to serve Him. God’s will is always best!
b. God promised to bless Abram, Ge 12:2-3
1) God promised to make of Abram a great nation (12:2).
2) He promised that Abram would be a blessing (12:2).
3) God promised that in Abram all the families of the earth would be blessed (12:3).
4) God was continuing the promise made to Eve after she sinned (Ge 3:15).
5) By isolating Abram’s family through separation, God was keeping his family godly. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, would eventually be born of Abram’s seed and would provide forgiveness and eternal life to all who will believe. (Galatians 3:16) “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.“
3. Abram’s Obedience
a. Abram departed from Haran
1) Abram left by faith as the book of Hebrews tells us (12:4). (Hebrews 11:8) “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.“
2) God declared Abram righteous because of his faith in God – not by works but by faith. (James 2:23) “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.“
a) Impute means to apply it to his account. God applies His righteousness to all who have faith in Him.
b) No one is born righteous. We were born with hearts full of incurable sin. (Jeremiah 17:9) “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?“
c) The only way a person can become righteous (right with God) is to receive it from God. (2 Corinthians 5:21) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.“
d) Praise God that we can maintain that righteousness by daily confession of sin. (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.“
b. Abram followed God’s leading
1) Abram simply obeyed God (12:5).
2) He knew he was going to Canaan, but he did not know where he was to dwell. He simply followed God step-by-step, day-by-day. He became a sojourner – temporary resident everywhere he went. (Hebrews 11:9-10) “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.“
3) God did not lead Abram astray! Obeying God and trusting Him with your life, is the wisest thing you can do. The number one way that God leads us is through the Bible. If you are not daily reading the Bible, obeying it, and letting it direct your daily life, you are missing God’s best for your life.
Conclusion: What have we learned from this section? 1) God’s word needs to be in our heart, and we must teach it daily to our children. 2) Separation is for our protection. Separating from sin and bad influences is for our good. 3) Do not fear to answer God’s call. His way is always best! 4) Righteousness comes from God when we place our faith in Him alone. It is maintained when we confess our sins. 5) Following God by hearing His Word, obeying, and living Bible truths is the way to receive God’s blessing.