Time —1. Promises to Abraham Books —Genesis Figures —Abraham Isaac Jacob Begins with —God's call to Abram Ends with —Jacob's family settling in Egypt
Our first period —Promises to Abraham— spans the generations of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The period starts with God's call to Abram, and ends with the settlement of Jacob's family in Goshen, a part of Egypt.
The period is covered by Genesis chapters 12-47. An outline of the period is also provided in Acts 7:1-15, part of the speech made by Stephen.
1 The Background
About 2000 years before Christ, God called Abram out of Ur where he lived near the Persian Gulf. Abram settled in Haran, at the other end of the Euphrates river. However, God led him down to Canaan, east of the Mediterranean Sea where the river Jordan flows.
God promised that Abram's descendants would possess that land. God also promised that one of Abram's descendants would bless all nations. Abraham (as his name became) was old. His wife Sarah was also old, and what is more she had always been barren. Sarah and Abraham contrived to produce a son and heir through Sarah's servant Hagar, so Ishmael was born. However God insisted that Sarah would bear a son to Abraham, and his name would be Isaac.
Through the promise and power of God, Isaac was indeed born to them. In time, Isaac begot Jacob who became known by the name Israel. He fathered 12 sons from whom the twelve tribes of Israel were descended.
2 The Main Point
Behind this story are "two immutable things"...
The PROMISE and
The OATH which confirmed it
3 Promises to Abraham in Genesis
12:1-3,7 The call of Abram and God's plan for him
13:14-18 Many descendants and a promised land
15:1-21 A promised land and many descendants
17:1-8 A covenant made and a change of name
21:8-21 A promise for Hagar's son Ishmael
22:15-18 God swears an oath to Abraham
25:21-27 God's promise to Rebekah Isaac's wife
26:1-5 and 24 God repeats to Isaac the promise to Abraham
28:10-16 Jacob's dream of a ladder to heaven
35:9-12 Jacob blessed again, name changed to Israel
4 Two main elements in these promises:>
The land promise God had chosen the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to become a great nation who would possess the land of Canaan.
The seed promise The whole world was to be blessed through one particular descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The promise was that Abraham's 'seed' would bless the world (Hebrews 6:13-20). Just as Abraham placed his hope of eternal life in these two unchangeable things, so also do we (Romans 4:16-25).
5 Abraham’s Family Tree
Adam was the father of Seth
Seth was the ancestor of Noah
Noah had a son called Shem
Shem was the ancestor of Terah
Terah was the father of Sarah, Abram, Nahor, Haran
Abram married Sarah and they had a son Isaac
Nahor married Haran's daughter Milcah and they had a son Bethuel
Bethuel was the father of Rebekah and Laban
Isaac married Rebekah and they had a son Jacob
Jacob married Laban's daughters Leah and Rachel and had twelve sons by them and their maids:
—Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah (by Leah)
—Daniel and Naphtali (by Bilah, Rachel's maid)
—Gad and Asher (by Zilpah, Leah's maid)
—Issachar and Zebulun (by Leah)
—Joseph and Benjamin (by Rachel)
—Joseph had two sons Manasseh and Ephraim
Abraham was the...
Son of Terah
Uncle of Lot
Husband of Sarah
Father of Ishmael (Edom) by Hagar
Father of Isaac by Sarah
Grandfather of Israel (Jacob)
6 Scripture Key
Adam's sons and daughters (Genesis 4:1-2,25 5:3-5)
Cain's descendants (Genesis 4:17-23)
Seth's descendants down to Noah (Genesis 5:7-32)
About Noah's youngest son Ham (Genesis 9:18-29)
About the Canaanites and other 'ites (Genesis 9:18, 10:1-20)