How Does God Change a Family? (God Calls Abraham and Sarah): Genesis 11:10-12:9) (10)

=Adam & son Seth (1-5)– Noah & son Shem (6-10) – Abraham & son Isaac (11-25)

·         Short list most impactful people in history

·         Abram (exalted father)/Abraham (father of a multitude) – painful name

·         Sarai “princess” – beautiful & barren

·         New identity from God = new name (Abram/Abraham; Sarai/Sarah; Cephas/Peter; Saul/Paul)

·         3 religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) & cults (JW, Mormon)

John 8:39 “Abraham is our father”

·         Name around 300 X in Bible, 11 NT books including each gospel

·         Heroes faith Hebrews 11 generally 1 verse each person, Moses 6, Abraham 12

Matt 22:32 [Jesus] “‘I am the God of Abraham, & the God of Isaac, & the God of Jacob’”


Blessing and Cursing Lasts for Generations

Genesis 11:10 These are the generations of Shem. When Shem was 100 years old, he fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood. 11 And Shem lived after he fathered Arpachshad 500 years and had other sons and daughters. 12 When Arpachshad had lived 35 years, he fathered Shelah. 13 And Arpachshad lived after he fathered Shelah 403 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he fathered Eber. 15 And Shelah lived after he fathered Eber 403 years and had other sons and daughters. 16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he fathered Peleg. 17 And Eber lived after he fathered Peleg 430 years and had other sons and daughters. 18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he fathered Reu. 19 And Peleg lived after he fathered Reu 209 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he fathered Serug. 21 And Reu lived after he fathered Serug 207 years and had other sons and daughters. 22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he fathered Nahor. 23 And Serug lived after he fathered Nahor 200 years and had other sons and daughters. 24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he fathered Terah. 25 And Nahor lived after he fathered Terah 119 years and had other sons and daughters. 26 When Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

  • Gen. 11 genealogy continuation Gen. 5 & 10 (Ham -cursed: Shem/Japheth -blessed)
  • f
  • #2. Difference – Gen. 5 death stressed, here hope/life through birth stressed

= God knows everyone by name. Lamb’s book of life

For Good to Start, Bad Must End

Genesis 11: 27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. 28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.

  • Chaldeans (people); Babylon (key city)
  • Ur = Babylon (city worshipped moon goddess, housing, plumbing etc. -archaeology)

=Moves huge household from Mesopotamia to Turkey/Syria border (300 ish miles)

Abraham Started as a Pagan Gentile

Joshua 24:2 Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods.

  1. Bad father (Terah)
  2. Bad culture (Babylon)
  3. Bad cult (served “other gods” = demons)
  4. Bad marriage problem (wife barren)
  5. Bad age (75) = Does not circumcize for 24 years age 99 then Jewish people begin

Links in the Chain of Faith

Genesis 12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Human attempts to deal with sin problem

  1. Adam – passivity
  2. Eve – independence
  3. Cain – lawlessness
  4. Lamech – chauvinism
  5. Noah – preach 120 years (0 converts other than family)
  6. Evolution – 1656 years Gen. 5 only Enoch walked w/God
  7. Babylon – Globalism

God’s solution: Covenant Relationship

  • Babylonians wanted make their 1. name/ 2. nation great w/o God
  • God’s – chooses Babylonian Abram – make a great name/nation
  • 1-11 God called creation into existence
  • 12-50 God called mankind into covenant

= Abraham & Sarah = new Adam & Eve. God blesses us to bless others.

What is the Abrahamic Covenant? (Genesis 12:1-3; 17:1-14; 22:16-18)

  1. mediator – Abraham & family
  2. blessings – son, land, nation, Jesus
  3. conditions (or curses) – obedience
  4. sign – faith (internal) & circumcision (external)
  5. covenant community – family
  • #1. First links – bad habits to undo, demonic opposition, family pressure
  • #2. Strong links – patriarchs w/a legacy
  • #3. Weak links – prodigals
  • #4. Broken links – reject faith, apostate, dishonor father & faith

Jesus Christ is the God of Abraham

Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Genesis 12:1-3 the Lord said to Abram…“I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing…all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Matthew 1:1 the genealogy of Jesus Christ…the son of Abraham.

Galatians 3:16 the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.

Galatians 3:29 if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Jesus Christ

  • “offspring” or “seed” = very important
    • Like sheep can be singular or plural
    • Not Israel or the church or the Arabs

Living by Faith

Genesis 12:So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

  • Roughly 2000 B.C.
  • God not spoken since to Noah
  • God spoke, & now He appears

Bethel – “city of God” – over 70X in OT, 2nd only to Jerusalem

Promised Land/Israel

  • This promise not fulfilled until Joshua.           Exiles wandering home to it.


  • Mark 1:17 Jesus said, “come follow me”
  • Big difference between running from your problems & running to God’s calling


  • internal conviction leading to external action
  • Knowledge = minimal             Faith = massive

Heb 11:8–10 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.


  • Cannot just move, you have to move and set up an altar as your first priority
  • Other altars to other gods, claim the area for your God & welcome His presence

Genesis is not about what happened, but what always happens

Some decisions change your life & legacy (starting a walk at night vs daytime)

34 years today & our faith journey (CHAIR) PHOTO W/GRACE

Our family move story

Staff Bible study question about an altar & TTC & chair in my office

In this sermon from Genesis 11-12, Pastor Mark preaches on the calling of Abraham and Sarah to leave their pagan, wicked upbringing, their home, and all that they knew and start a new legacy for their family. This journey took incredible faith and Abraham is saved to receive his place in the family line and genealogy that ultimately leads to Jesus Christ.
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