Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. Tonight, is study #1 of Genesis, chapter 12 and we are going to begin by reading Genesis 12:1-5:
Now JEHOVAH had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as JEHOVAH had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
We have already discussed how Terah is a picture of the whole human race, as he was born in the year 2297. He had three sons and of those three sons two died on the other side of the flood and the third son, Abram, crossed over and entered in to Canaan, a picture of the kingdom of God or heaven. We talked about the “two thirds” and “one third” ratios, where “one third” represents God’s elect and “two thirds” represents those that are cut off and die and they never cross over into Canaan; they never truly enter into the kingdom of heaven, the Promised Land, because they were never saved. Abram, in the Person of Christ from the foundation of the world, went through the wrath of God, which the river typifies, and that brought him over into God’s kingdom or into the place of salvation.
I was going to refer back to Joshua, chapter 24 and I will return to that verse, but not just yet. First, I would like to point out that we were told Terah was 70 when he begat his three sons, as it said back in Genesis 11:26:
And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
We were also told that he lived a certain number of additional years and the total number of his days, in Genesis 11:32:
And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
The implication is, from what we are reading in the first few verses in Genesis 12, that upon the death of his father Terah, then Abram left Haran and entered in to the land of Canaan. We are told Abram’s age in Genesis 12:4:
… and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
One thing is for certain. Terah died at the age of 205 and Abram did not leave Haran until his father had died. There is additional proof of that in Acts 7:2-4:
And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.
So, we see very specifically that God says that Abram did not leave Haran until his father was dead and his father died at age 205 and Abram entered Canaan at age 75. Now, if it were true that Abram was the one that was born when Terah was age 70, then when Terah died at aged 205, then how old should Abram be? He would be 70, plus 135 and he would be 135 when his father died, but he is not – he is far from that because he is only 75 when his father died. So, it is an impossibility that Abram was born when Terah was 70. We have seen and discussed that we must be very careful with that word “begat,” even though (in this case) it is an immediate father/son relationship. And, yet, God speaks of all three sons as being begotten, just as He did with Noah’s three sons, so we also have to be careful with that kind of statement, as well.
Abram was 75 upon his entry into Canaan and he did not leave Haran until his father’s death and his father died at age 205. So, we just do simple math: 205 minus 75 equals 130. Terah was 130 years old when Abram was born. Again, there is that number once more and I hope that this number “130” is beginning to click with you. I hope you are starting to see how often this number comes into view at certain extremely important points in Biblical history. Remember, after Cain slew Abel, God gave another seed to Adam and Eve. How old was Adam when Seth was born? He was 130. Later, in the Book of Genesis there was a grievous famine in the land of Canaan and all lands. How old was Jacob when he entered into Egypt to come under the protection and care of Joseph? He was 130.
Later on, in the history of Israel, there was another terrible time when a wicked woman named Athaliah rose up and she usurped authority and took the kingdom and ruled for six years, which can identify with that 2,300 days (six years and almost four months) of the first part of the grievous Great Tribulation period. Athaliah took rule but there was a priest named Jehoiada who hid one of the king’s seed, Joash. Then after the six years of Athaliah’s rule, she was put down and Joash began to rule under the protection and guidance of Jehoiada the priest, until Jehoiada was 130 years old and he died. Upon his death, the good king Joash, who had done right all the days of Jehoiada the priest, then went astray and followed wicked counselors and he even caused to be killed a descendant of Jehoiada, Zechariah, who was killed between the temple and the altar. Then we see this apostasy or going away from truth, as Jehoiada was picturing the Spirit of God within the midst of the congregations during the church age and restraining sin so that the churches conducted themselves somewhat properly; that is, they were able to do the will of God and accomplish His purposes for 1,955 years. But the Holy Spirit departed in the year 1988, which was the 13,000th year of earth’s history, and the churches and congregations of the world wickedly slayed the people of God, spiritually speaking, as represented by Zacharias (Zechariah).
We see this number “130” appearing, again, and again, in the Bible at important junctures in time regarding God’s timetable for His salvation program. And, here it is again. Terah represents the human race and from the human race there would come this division of “one third” and “two thirds.” In other words, it represents the “one third” that are saved and the “two thirds” that are not saved, but, in reality, it is far less than “one third.” It is only a remnant that is saved, but the three sons represent the whole of mankind.
We have Abram being born when Terah is aged 130. Why would God do this? Why would God identify Abram (representative of the elect) with an age that does tie in with the 13,000th year of earth’s history? It is because the vast majority of the elect were reserved to the time of the end. God saved a relative “hand full” during the Old Testament period and He saved many more during the church age, but it was still not all that many. The overwhelming number of people whose names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life were reserved for the end time, the last stage of earth’s history when God would allow the population of the world to skyrocket to enormous proportions. At the time that Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011 there were about seven billion people on the earth and that very well could have matched the overall number of all past generations combined. So, among the seven billion God had a plan to save tens of millions, perhaps, 150 million or 160 million (we do not know the actual number), but there is Biblical evidence that the total number of elect may be as many as 200 million. Let us say that there were 10 to 25 million saved during the church age, then that would leave about 175 million people that God intended to save during the “little season” of the latter part of the Great Tribulation during the Latter Rain period.
That is why when the Lord gives a “point of identification” with crossing a river (entering the kingdom of heaven), He does so by highlighting the 130-year age of Terah when Abram was born. Again, it is because the majority of the elect were saved after the earth became 13,000 years old and during the second part of the Great Tribulation. We can see this in the fact that Abram was born when Terah was 130 years old.
So, Abram grew and he spent time in Ur of the Chaldees (Babylon) and at some point they decided to go into the land of Canaan. In their travel toward Canaan they came to Haran and there Terah stayed and there the remaining brother stayed. The other brother had died, perhaps in Ur of the Chaldees. These two never crossed. They had intention to go into the land of Canaan, but they never made it and that points to mankind’s expressed desire (through their other religions and other gospels) and intention to enter the kingdom of God. And, yet, no matter what works they perform or what doctrines their religion or altered Christian gospels developed that promised to get them to the Promised Land, not a single person made it because it was impossible for them to cross the river, which represented the wrath of God, to make it to the other side. They “drowned” in the river. That would be the analogy because they would be consumed by the river. They would sink into the depths, like Pharaoh and the Egyptian army sank into the Red Sea. They would never rise again.
Only God’s elect can cross the river because God brings them through. That is what we did see in Joshua 24:2-3:
And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith JEHOVAH God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
You see, God took Abraham. God draws His people and brings them across the flood or across the river, just like He brought Moses and all Israel across the Red Sea. The others that assayed to do so drowned. It was just like God brought Israel, after forty years in the wilderness, across the river Jordan. God opened the “sea” and He made a path through the river Jordan and that path way is the atoning work of Christ. Once we see that Abram’s departure from the land of Haran from the other side of the river to the land of Canaan is really a picture of salvation, then we can understand why the Lord makes this statement in Hebrews, chapter 11. By the way, this is the “faith chapter,” and as I have mentioned many times we can substitute the word “Christ” for the word “faith” because they are synonymous. We read in Hebrews 11:8-10:
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
So, it was by faith he was called out. The Bible tells us, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” He was called and God took him and God made a way for him and brought him across the river and into the land of Canaan, which is said here to be “the land of promise.” We can see how God is connecting this to the heavenly city, as it says in verse 10: “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
So, this is what is in view. The spiritual picture is one of salvation that brings us through the river of God’s wrath and judgment for sin. Our sins were paid in full by Jesus Christ from the foundation of the world. When Jesus entered into the world, He simply demonstrated what He had done in eternity past.
Now let us go back to Genesis 12:1-3:
Now JEHOVAH had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
This is why it was an act of faith or obedience to God’s command. We just read the command: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee.” It was a very good example of the life of a believer because this is what happens, spiritually, at the point when God saves a sinner in the “day of salvation,” a time no past; God is no longer saving the souls of people any longer. We still have the anticipation of the salvation of our bodies and that will be the completion of God’s salvation program.
But we know that on May 21, 2011 the Lord completed His salvation program, but during the period of salvation God would come to an individual and apply salvation to that person. Prior to this, that individual was a citizen of the world, being one kindred with the people of the world. Their father’s house was the world and they were completely identified with the world.
The elect were children of wrath, even as others. We had fit in and we could be just as sinful as anyone else. We could be just as wicked, going our own way like anyone else, like the thief on the cross. We would have spent our lives doing evil and transgressing God’s Law and speaking whatever “popped into our heads” with no constraints upon our mouths, saying whatever evil we wanted to say. We could curse and drink, like everybody else, but when God performed the work of salvation, He gave us a new resurrected spirit and He translated us out of the kingdom of darkness of this world and into the kingdom of God’s dear son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and into the kingdom of light. A very real change took place in our being – not in our total being, because we still have physical bodies that are corrupt and going to the grave because of sin. That is where we still need redemption in salvation, but in our souls a drastic change had been made and we have been taken from our kindred and from our father’s house and from our country (this world) and we were called to “go out.” We were commanded to cross over.
Through the salvation of our souls, a big part of that crossing over has occurred. We were to cross over to the Promised Land and then to sojourn in that place of promise, looking for that heavenly city to come. So, during the church age God’s people did leave their worldly situation. We left our families, in that sense, as our families pursued their sins in going after their lusts, but not so for the child of God. God has made a difference between the child of God and “his brothers,” like Nahor or Haran. God made a big change in Abram that He did not make in the other brothers, so they remained on that side the flood.
It is just like what took place in our lives as God brought the Gospel to our ears: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” God sparked a new heart and we became a new creature in Christ. Maybe we had family that we had gone drinking with and we had gone partying with our friends, but the “way of the world” ceased to be our way. We could not do it any longer and if we did, we were troubled to no end and distraught and grieved in our soul because of the incredible change within us. We now had a pure soul that never wants to sin again, so when we do sin there is a vexation that takes place. We have grieved the Holy Spirit and we are miserable. It does not happen instantly, but over time, as the Lord chastens us and instructs us in righteousness, we learn like a child that has done wrong and gets spanked: “Well, I cannot do that any longer. I have to go the right way, even though there is a part of my flesh that desires to continue in those things, but it is just too grievous and terrible.” So, we go the way of God and then we learn that there are blessings of obedience. We are much happier and content and we are even much healthier in many ways.
This is all in view as Abram leaves his family and crosses the flood (river) into the land of Canaan.