The covenant between God and Abraham

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Genesis Chapter 12 through Chapter 25 documents the life of Abraham, born Abram son of Terah, Terah lived 205 years before he died in a place called Haran. Genesis 11:32

After Abram’s father died, the Lord came to Abram the first of many times. God told him to leave Haran and his father’s home and go to a land he would show him Genesis 12:1.  At the age of 75, Abram, his barren wife Sarai and his nephew Lot set out for the land of Canaan.

The next time the Lord appeared to Abram, they had arrived at the secret tree of Moreh in the land of Canaan. The Lord told him that “This is the country I am going to give to your descendants” Genesis 12:7. In Genesis 12:2-3 the Lord says to Abram “I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. And through you, I will bless all the nations.”

Because of a famine in Canaan, Abram decided to move everyone to Egypt Genesis 12:10. Because Sarai was so beautiful, Abram feared the Egyptians might kill her husband so they could have her. To avoid this he had her say she was his sister. Not knowing the truth, the king took her for himself, but God sent terrible diseases to the king and his people. When the king learned the truth he returned Sarai to Abram and kicked them out of the country. Genesis 12:11-20

After returning to Canaan, because their numbers had increased to a point that Abram’s and Lot’s animals were too crowded and needed more space. Abram gave Lot his choice of a part of Canaan to go to. Lot chose the Jordan valley near the city of Sodom. Genesis 13:8-10

After war broke out in that area between numerous kings, Lot was captured. When Abram found out, he attacked Lot’s captors at night with 318 men and rescued Lot. Genesis 14:14

Again God appears to Abram, this time in a dream. This time he promised to protect Abram and give him great rewards. Abram questions this and points out to God that he has no children. The Lord promises Abram a son. More than that, the Lord promises Abram more descendants than stars in the sky. Genesis 15:1,5

When Abram was 86, he fathered a son called Ishmael by Sarai’s Egyptian slave woman, Hagar. Genesis 16:15-16 An angel told Hagar her son would live like a wild donkey and would be against everyone and they would be against him.Genesis 16:12

At the age of 99, God appeared again to Abram. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and again promised he would be the father of many nations. God promised some of them would be kings. God promised he would be their God and the whole land of Canaan would be theirs. God asked Abraham to agree to circumcise every male. If they were not circumcised they could not be considered part of God’s people. God also renamed Sarai Sarah and said she would have a son. Abraham questioned if it was possible to have a child at 90. God said he would be named Isaac. Abraham was obedient and did what God said. Genesis 17:1-10

One day when Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent he looked up and there were three men standing there. He invited them into his tent and fed them and washed their feet. They told him that in nine months Sarah would have a son. Sarah laughed when she heard this, because of her advanced age. God’s answer in Genesis 18:14 was “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

There is no biblical evidence as to who or what they were at this point. Later, when they got ready to leave to go to Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 18:22 says “Then the two men left and went on to Sodom, but the Lord remained with Abraham.” Then, when the two who left arrived at Sodom and Gomorrah to investigate the level of sin in those places, Genesis 19:1 says “When the two angels came to Sodom that evening.”

After they had gone Abraham pleads with God to save those cities from destruction if he can find first fifty just men, then forty-five, then twenty and finally ten. God agreed. If there were ten just men the cities would be saved.

The two angels who went to Sodom met Abraham’s nephew, Lot. He invited them to his home. The evil men living in Sodom tried to get Lot to give his visitors to them so they could have sex with them. The Angels took control of the situation and blinded the trouble makers. Lot gathered his family and at the last minute got away from Sodom before God rained sulfur on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and killed everyone there.

Abraham’s wife Sarah, despite being very old, had a son that they named Isaac. When he was eight days old Abraham circumcised him as God had instructed. Abraham was one hundred years old. Some years later God called Abraham and told him to take his son Isaac and offer him as a sacrifice. As Abraham had done his entire life he did what God asked. He went to the mountain specified and had Isaac tied and lying on the altar. He had the knife in hand when as written in Genesis 22:11-12 “But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, ‘Abraham, Abraham! He answered Yes! Here I am. Don’t hurt the boy or do anything to him,’ he said.’ Now I know that you honor and obey God because you have not kept back your only son from him.'”

Abraham died at the age of 175. Genesis 25:7-8 Sarah had already died at the age of 127.Genesis 23:1.

These chapters in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, detail Abraham’s life and his interaction with God and the promises God made.

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