The text for this lesson is Genesis 12:1-9
- God chose Abram (Abraham) and his descendants in order to carry out His plan of salvation. Christ fulfilled God’s plan for us and all people.
- Law: I am sinful and deserve only eternal death and damnation.
- Gospel: God provided my Savior from sin, Jesus, through Abram (Abraham) and his offspring.
- Think about what pictures form in your mind when you hear the name Abraham. Which events in Abraham’s life stand out?
- Read Joshua 24:2–4. What do we learn about Abram and his faith prior to Genesis 12? In which commandment do we hear about “other gods”? How does the fact that Abram served other gods affect the way we view his calling from God in Genesis 12?
- Read Genesis 11. Who are Abram’s descendants? Many more notable figures who did not forsake the worship of the Lord still lived at the time of Abram’s calling. Were there more suitable people for God to make such a gracious covenant with? Read Matthew 3:9. Since Abram was an offspring of faithful believers, what does Abram’s apostasy speak about the reliance on family ties to church membership? Does our upbringing guarantee that we will remain Christians, or is there another source for our salvation?
- As you read Genesis 12, consider the character of God. He chose one who had forsaken Him and chased after false gods. What one word might sum up the attitude of God toward Abram? How is God’s character seen in Christ, the fulfillment of this promise made to Abram?
- Blessings and curses abound in God’s speech to Abram. Who is responsible for the curses? Who is responsible for the blessings? The answers to these two questions differ. How does this fact affect how we view the faith of Abram? Abram was under the curse of Adam. What part does God’s Word, His promise of blessing in the death and resurrection of His only-begotten Son, play in Abram’s conversion?
- God promised to make Abram a great nation. How would this be received by one who is childless? Abram had one son of promise, Isaac. Isaac had one son of promise, Jacob. Is it a simple thing to believe that out of such meager roots would sprout a great nation? Further, how great a faith is required to believe that the scanty sapling of this great nation would endure through all of the trials of the Old Testament, eventually culminating in the Root of Jesse?
- Further, God promises to bless Abram. Read Luke 2:32. Who did Simeon, a man waiting for the consolation of Israel, declare to be the blessing, or glory, of Israel? Read John 8:56. How did Abram understand the fulfillment of this prophecy? By believing in Christ, the very incarnate Curse crucified for our sin, how did Abram escape the condemnation of his past idolatry and receive blessing instead of curse? What does this mean for us who are the Church, the very offspring of Abram?
- What is the scope of God’s promise to Abram? Abram shall be a blessing. In him, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Read Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10. God blesses all families by His Word. What blessings are given to those who hear this Gospel promise of God to Abram and believe? How does this same Word make good on the promise in the Church today?
- In light of the curse of sin and idolatry in our lives, define despair.
- How do you think Abram felt about the prospect of leaving his family, livelihood, and home to journey to an unknown location?
- God speaks to Abram through His Word, and God turns Abram from his sinful ways. He instills in Abram faith. This faith trusts God’s promises even if they do not seem to be the most rational course of action. Was it easy or difficult for Abram to have faith in the promises of God?