Tomorrow we are studying Genesis 12:4-9. This is a simple section that can easily be looked over but it has some significance.
Abram is leaving and (somewhat) following the Lord’s command to go forth from his country (v.1), leave his father’s house (v.1), and go to the land which God shows him (v.1).
At 75, Abram takes his wife and nephew along with his possessions and they head towards Canaan. It’s when he arrives in Shechem that God tells him that this is the land.
It’s a small detail but the author lets us know that the “Canaanite was then in the land” (Gen. 12:6) Details matter in Genesis. There is a couple of things we can take away here.
One is that, while the Canaanites live in the land, it’s not really theirs to keep or give away. God shows his ownership as Creator in the next verse in that he will give it to Abram’s descendants despite the fact there are already people who claim it as their own.
Second, it reminds us that the blessings and curse that Noah gives in Genesis 9. Canaan will serve the older (the line of Shem). Who comes from that line? None other than Abram.
Abram responds to God by building an altar. Then he goes off to Bethel and it states that he “pitched his tent…and there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD.”
What amazes me is that the place in which he does this, Bethel, will one day become Bethlehem. The birthplace of the Messiah. The descendant promised in Genesis 3:15.
Imagine Abram standing on top of the hill looking over the vast, wild, undeveloped land knowing that one day that place would be filled with people and there would be no room for the Savior of the world to be born. Bethlehem is still there today. It amazes me.
It tells me that God is faithful and I hope that when I read this again in the future, this “altar” of a post, will remind me of his faithfulness and cause me to worship him.
Be blessed today.