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; 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; 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
shall be blessed." So Abram went forth as the LORD
had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram
was seventy-five years old when he departed from
Haran. Genesis 12:1-4 (NAS)
Prior to this time, Abram's father (Terah) had
moved his family from Ur* of the Chaldeans to Haran
(see Genesis 11:31).
When God made this first covenant, Abram was
living with his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot in the
city of Haran. So Abram went forth from Haran
with Sarai and Lot to the land that God would tell
him. Genesis chapters 12-14 tell of their travels.
Lot traveled from Haran to Canaan. In
Genesis 12:7, God promised to give Abraham the land
of Canaan. Then Abram journeyed south to Egypt
as there was a famine in the land. Later he
went up from Egypt to Negev.
The Covenant Begins to Be Fulfilled:
As God had promised, Abram and those with him
began to flourish. According to Genesis 13:2,
Abram became very rich in livestock and in silver
and gold. Their flocks, herds and tents were
so numerous it says in Genesis 13:6 that the land
could not sustain them. So Abram separated his
possessions and flocks from those of his nephew Lot,
and Abram returned to Canaan. In Genesis
14:17-20, Abram was blessed by Melchizedek king of
Salem who was "priest of God Most High."
About eight years later after God's promise in
Genesis 12, Sarai was unable to have children. So
Abram began to wonder how God would fulfill the
promises (how would great nations come from Abram,
if he couldn't have children?).
God Gives More Details of His Covenant:
Genesis chapter 15:5-6, "the word of the Lord" came
and took Abram outside and said "Now look toward the
heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to
count them." And He said to him, "So shall your
descendants be." Then he believed in the LORD; and
He reckoned it to him as righteousness."
Then God said to Abram:
"I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the
Chaldeans*, to give you this land to possess it."
Abram asked God "O Lord GOD, how may I know that I
shall possess it?" Genesis 15:7 (NAS)
* Note: Ur of the
Chaldeans was a town in Mesopotamia on the Euphrates
River, located southeast from the ancient city of
Babylon and just northwest of where the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers empty into the Persian Gulf.
So what did God do to show Abram that He would
keep His promise?
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