After describing the events of creation and the beginnings of civilization, the Book of Genesis transitions to a narrative about a man named Abram. Later renamed Abraham, this man was chosen by God to be the patriarch of a family through whom God would bless the entire world. God chose Abraham to be the ancestor of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, whom God would send to save the world from sin and death.
Abraham was counted as righteous before God because of his faith. God gave Abraham a great promise, and Abraham believed God would do what He said. God promised to give Abraham many descendants. He promised to give Abraham and his descendants land of their own, and He promised to make Abraham a blessing to all the families of the earth. After Abraham’s death, his son Isaac became the heir of the promise. God established the same covenant with Isaac, continuing to fulfill His promise through the next generation.
Most scholars agree Genesis was written by Moses during the time the Israelites wandered in the Desert of Zin, around 1440 ʙ.ᴄ. Chapters 12 through 28 of Genesis describe the origins of the Israelite nation, describing their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The record of their lives was written down by Moses to the generation of Israelites preparing to live in the land God promised to give them. As they prepared to enter the Promised Land of Canaan, the words of Genesis reminded them who their God was and what it looked like to walk with Him in faith.
In the midst of examples of the faith and unbelief of Abraham and his family, God continually confirmed and affirmed His covenant and promise to him. Abraham wasn’t perfect. He had plenty of moments where his actions did not align with his faith in God’s promise. Yet God credited Abraham as righteous long before God required anything but faith from him. We can learn to love God greatly by studying His promise-keeping character. We’ll see what it means to walk in faith, even when we fail. And we’ll see the compassion and kindness of God as He offers mercy, justice, and faithfulness to His covenant people.
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