Genesis 11-19: The Call of Abram

*These notes come from Bob Deffinbaugh’s study on Genesis 11-19 at
  • Ch. 11 begins a division in the book of Genesis with the first 11 chapters being known as “primeval history” and the last as “patriarchal history.”
  • Effect of man’s sin has become more widespread, but fulfillment of promise of God has become more selective
  • Genesis 12 contains Abrahamic Covenant and is, therefore, a key Old Testament passage. The covenant ties the Old Testament together
  • Nearly 1/4 of Genesis is devoted to Abraham’s life and 40 Old testament references are made to him. Islam holds Abraham second to Mohammad. 75 references are made to him in the New Testament
  • Abraham was called to leave a metropolis for a land he knew little about and which offered him little.
  • Abraham’s father was an idolater
  • Abraham was elderly when he left to follow God
  • From all these things we see the obstacles he had to overcome with initially weak faith
  • Command to Abraham is a reversal of what men attempted at Babel
  • The covenant that is promised is a land, a seed, and a blessing
  • Abraham’s journey uknowingly outlined the  land that would belong to Israel, and the places he stopped symbolically forecast the future conquest. These places were also religious centers of Canaanite worship and were, therefore, a prophesy of teh coming time when true religious worship would overcome Pagan religion.

Characteristics of the Life of Faith

  • Abraham’s faith was commenced at the initiative of God (he was Pagan – God sought him out)
  • The Christian walk is a pilgrimage (this world is not our home)
  • Abraham’s spiritual life continued through the sovereign work of God (initially weak faith that God worked to strengthen)
  • The Christian walk is rooted in the reliability of the word of God (we must trust in His promise)
  • The Christian walk is doing what God has told us to do and believing He is leading us to do so (None of Abraham’s stops were without purpose)
  • The Christian walk is a process of growth in grace (How long have you been a Christian? Abraham became known as the man of faith, but initially he had very little. God spent years working with him).

*Link to study on the rest of the chapters in Genesis


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