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January 5, 2023 - Genesis 12-14

Previously: “And, now, everything changes! The story telescopes from the wide-angle lens of the nations to focus precisely on Abram and his descendants. We are about to read, ‘Now the Lord said to Abram . . .’ (12:1), and we draw that much closer to the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15 and the man who will defeat Satan and sin and death. What a story!” And the covenant found in 12:1-3 sets the stage for all that follows. Abram is to leave his home, travel to a new land, and there God will bless him and, through him, bless the whole earth.

In my recent Christmas sermon series from Matthew 1 & 2, I found myself constantly saying something like, “This is not primarily about the people of the genealogy. The story is not primarily about David or Joseph or Mary. It is about the child.” The same response is appropriate, here: As great a man as was Abraham, as important as Sarah was as mother of Isaac, and all Israel as a central player in the story . . . well, there’s another upon which the story is primarily focused, that is, the one descendant of Abraham in whom all the nations will be blessed. Abram and Sarai travel to Egypt and back to Canaan, and the story of Lot plays out. Though I have read it many times, I can’t wait to read some more!

Hills of the North, rejoice,

river and mountain-spring,

hark to the advent voice;

valley and lowland, sing.

Christ comes in righteousness and love,

he brings salvation from above.

Isles of the Southern seas, sing . . .

Lands of the East, arise . . .

Shores of the utmost West . . .

Shout, as you journey home,

songs be in every mouth,

lo, from the North they come,

from East and West and South:

in Jesus all shall find their rest,

in him the universe be blest. -- Charles E. Oakley (1865)

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