Genesis 11-13

Summary

In Genesis chapter 11, One language in the world. The building of Babel. It is interrupted by the confusion of tongues, and the builders dispersed. The generations of Shem and Terah, the father of Abram. Terah, with Abram and Lot, move from Ur to Haran.

In Genesis chapter 12, God calls Abram, and blesses him with a promise of blessings. He departs with Lot from Haran, and comes to Canaan. He journeys through Canaan, which is promised to him in a vision. He is driven by famine into Egypt. Fear makes him pretend that his wife is his sister. Pharaoh, having taken her from him, is plagued and is compelled to restore her. He reproves Abram, whom he dismisses.

Genesis chapter 13, Abram and Lot return with great riches out of Egypt. Strife arises between Abram’s herdsmen and those of Lot. Abram meekly asks Lot to choose his part of the country, and Lot goes to Sodom. God renews the promise to Abram. He moves to Hebron, and builds an altar.

Insight and Prayers

God is interested in the world; He created all of it and wants people to live in every part. God told Noah, “Have many children and fill the earth again” (9:1). He wanted His people to multiply “abundantly in the earth” (9:7). But mankind wanted to establish a one-world culture in opposition to God. They refused to scatter into all the world. Mankind said, “Let’s build a great city and tower” (11:4), but God said, “Come, let Us go down” (11:5). God made them speak different languages (11:7). If it were just word symbols, they could have re-learned new symbols in a short time and continued working. But words stand for values and attitudes. When God gave them new words, He gave them new core values which made them different in culture and ethnic groups. Thus the different races came from the tower of Babel.

  • Lord, help me see the differences in each cultural race, and love people for who they are. Also help me see how people are the same, and all represent one world brotherhood. I pray for the evangelization of all the ethnic groups of the world (Matt. 28:19; 24:14). Amen.

We see the beginning of the Jewish people in chapter 11. God separates one river out of the ocean of humanity through whom to focus His work. The choice of Abraham was based in the heart and unfathomable mind of God.

“How odd of God to choose the Jews, and use that race to show His grace.” “But odder still His plan to  use the likes of you and me.” Lord, thank You for choosing Abraham and through him giving us the Scripture and Jesus Christ.

  • Lord, thank You for Your unfathomable choice of me and Your plan to use me. Amen

Sometimes God makes His presence more real to us than at other times. It’s as though we can actually feel the presence of the Lord with us when we pray. While we can’t go on our feelings, it’s a wonderful confirmation to feel His presence when we pray. What’s that feeling like? Sometimes you walk outside and you know it’s about to rain. You can feel the moisture in the air, even though you can’t see rain on the street, nor are the leaves wet. But, you can feel the atmospheric rain; just as we can feel the atmospheric presence of God.

  • Lord, I know You are always with me because You are omnipresent, that is, You are everywhere present at the same time. But thank You for those times when I pray confidently, because I feel Your presence with me. Amen.

We read the amazing statement, “The Lord appeared to Abram” (12:7). Did Abram see the shekinah glory cloud, or did God appear to him in something like a burning bush that didn’t burn up, as God appeared to Moses (Exod. 3:2)? The Bible doesn’t tell us how God appeared, but it was probably more than the atmospheric presence we feel.

  • Lord, I know You heard my prayers, because You promised in Scripture You will do it (John 14:13, 15). Also You hear me pray because You live in my heart (Gal. 2:20). But, Your atmospheric presence confirms You hear me when I pray.

Why did God appear to Abram? Because when God told him to go to a land he had never seen, Abram obeyed. And Abram worshiped at an altar he built (12:7). Jesus said, “The Father seeks individuals to worship Him” (John 4:23, ELT), so when we obey Him and worship Him, the Father comes to receive our worship.

  • Lord, when I do Your will and when I worship You, then I get an added blessing: I get to enjoy Your confirming atmospheric presence. Amen.

God told Abraham to walk in every direction and see what He was giving him. The land was possessed by pagan nations, but God wanted to give it to him. What does God want to give to you? Once Liberty Mountain was owned by U. S. Gypsum, so Jerry Falwell walked the length and width of the rabbit trails, praying and claiming the Mountain. Today, Liberty Mountain and over 6,000 acres are owned by Liberty University.

  • Lord, I will go to the place You want me to possess. I will walk around it and claim it for Your work. Amen.

Prayer walking is defined as “praying on site, with insight.” Before Abraham could walk and pray, God told him, “All the land you see I will give to you and your descendants forever” (13:15). You have to see it before you can pray in faith, or walk in faith.

  • Lord, I will walk around the “thing” You want me to possess. Give me a vision of what You desire; I will walk and pray for it. Amen.

Sources

  • Bible Summary – Adapted from The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by R. A. Torrey
  • Insights and Prayers – Adapted from The Prayer Bible