Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Genesis 11:10-31

Good morning, gang!

This morning we'll cover the remainder of Genesis 11, where we see God narrowing His plan to one nation. If you look back at Gen 9:26, you'll see that Noah blessed Shem in particular. Shem's line would be known for its relationship with their covenant God. In Beth Moore's study of Genesis, she makes a point of looking at the names of God. She says the Jews had such reverence for the name of God that they called Him Ha-Shem, which means "the Name." In this genealogy of Shem's family, we'll note a couple of things. First, note that the life expectancy is going down here. Men are no longer living 800-900 years. Frankly, I see this as an extreme act of grace! Why would we want to tarry here when we have a heavenly home awaiting us?? Also, the men are having their children at much younger ages. This will make Abraham's fertility issue stand out.

There are a few names of note in this list of Shem's family. In verses 14-16 we read about Eber. The name Eber and the word "Hebrew" have the same root that means "to cross over." My pastor loves to talk about the need to cross over the line, to make that definitive decision for Christ (which is why our church is named "Crossline"). The Hebrews lived in a pagan world of idol worship. They were called to cross over from that world to the one true God. If you have never made that decision to cross over, why not? What is holding you back???

In verse 24, we're introduced to Terah, the father of Abram. The meaning of the name Terah is not clear, but it is generally considered to mean "to loiter, wander, or delay." In verses 27-32 we read about Terah and his family:

This is the account of Terah’s family line. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.

These names will become more important to us later, but note that Lot was Abram's nephew. His father, Haran, had died, so he left Ur with his uncle, Abram. Now, in chapter 12, we'll read about this decision to move out of Ur to Canaan, but I found it interesting that Terah left Ur with Abram. Abram was called to go to Canaan, but "when they came to Haran, they settled there." Haran is just north of Canaan, and it's not until Terah dies that Abram actually moves into Canaan. Did Terah delay this move? His name indicates he may have... Also in these final verses, we're introduced to Sarai. I just can't wait to read about Abram and Sarai!

So, a lot of Bible trivia here. But not one word of God's Word is superfluous! God has scattered the people who arrogantly tried to make a name for themselves. Now we'll see how God will make a name for Himself through this one line of Abraham! As Christians, this is our spiritual family tree. We have been grafted into this line! We'll see it's a pretty dysfunctional family, but it's ours! And isn't that true of our own physical family lines??? :) Thank you, LORD, for this opportunity to learn about our family history!

Have a great morning! 

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