Saturday, November 12, 2005

Lech L'Cha - Go Forth, Yourself!

It's been a while since I did a Bible study here. I was working on one for Sukkot but did not get it finished in time.

Here are some notes on todays Parashiot, Gen. 12:1-17:27, from the service this morning.
"Gen 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram,
" Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father's house,
To the land which I will show you;
2 And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."
Note how many times the word "bless" is used. As children of Abraham we are blessed. We are also called to be a blessing.

Gen 15:6 Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7 And He said to him,
"I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it."
8 He said,
"O LordGOD, how may I know that I will possess it?"
9 So He said to him,
" Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon."
10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. 11 The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 God said to Abram,
"Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. 14 "But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15 "As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16 "Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete."
17 It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying,
" To your descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:
19 the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite 20 and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim 21 and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite."
Here God makes a covenant with Abram. The form used is that of a blood covenant. The parties of the covenant would walk between the pieces of the sacrifice, through the blood of the sacrifice, to seal the covenant. The interesting thing is that Abram was asleep and did not walk through: God made the covenant with himself. He promised Himself that Abram and his descendents would inherit the land. And Abram saw and believed.

Gen 17:5 "No longer shall your name be called Abram,
But your name shall be Abraham;
For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
In changing Abram's name God put His name, "ha", into Abrahams name.

Also, "many nations" is "goyim" in Hebrew. That is the Hebrew word for Gentiles. God's promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations includes all the nations, including Gentiles.

Furthermore, Abraham's name is a merger of Hebrew and Arabic: "aham" is Arabic in origin. God was saying that Abraham would be the father of both the Hebrew and Arab nations. It is too bad that so many of God's Arabic children are chasing after a false god.

God, the God of Abraham, has provided salvation for all who will follow him. Praise the Lord.

All quotes NASU from PC Study Bible

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