Scripture: Genesis 12:6-9
6 Abram passed through the country as far as Shechem and the Oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites occupied the land. 7 God appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your children.” Abram built an altar at the place God had appeared to him. 8 He moved on from there to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent between Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. He built an altar there and prayed to God. 9 Abram kept moving, steadily making his way south, to the Negev. Genesis 12:6-9, MSG
Getting to Know You
During the caravan’s first rest stop near Shechem, God appeared to Abram and reiterated His promise. Abram responded by building an altar to commemorate the event. At the second rest stop further in Canaanite territory, Scripture tells us, There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord (NLT).
- Point out the differences between verses 7 and 8.
- What might this suggest to you about Abram? About the relationship between Abram and God?
What you believe about God affects your life.
As we are making character sketches of Abram and Sarai, we are also forming a picture of God. And the picture of God that we have in our heads already will “color” our picture of God. Our brain has a “library” where it connects all thoughts on a particular subject. In that connection, a flavor or attitude develops that comes out of our experiences.
For example: We go on an day trip to a chocolate store, and I overdo the sampling. On the way home, I get sick in the car. In your brain, chocolate, your car, vomit, and my name with be connected because of the experience of this trip. The smell of chocolate will bring those memories into your frontal cortex, your thinking brain. It takes work on your part to disassociate our negative experience with your picture of who I am to you.
So my question for you today is, what do you believe about God? Is God like Santa Claus?
That’s the question that Tom Vander Well asked today in his blog. Please follow the link and read Tom’s post about “Santa God.” He is working out of Genesis 15 as he talks about the relationship between Abram and God. Of course, Abram had no idea about Santa Claus, but he had an idea about gods–his countrymen worshipped a lot of them But Abram is now getting to know THE ONE GOD.
After you read Tom’s blog, spend some time thinking about what you believe about God.
- When you picture God the Father, what do you see?
- Is God benevolent or judgmental?
- Does God care when you are hurting?
- Is God good all the time? Is God good when you’ve been praying for healing, and it doesn’t happen? Is God good when your candidate doesn’t get elected? Is God good when you lose your job?
- Ask your own questions and listen quietly for the answers.
Take some time to honestly assess your picture of God. What in His character comes out of your upbringing and experience, and what has God told you about himself in the Bible?
His words are true.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” John 1:12
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Act 16:31
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 8:9-10