Lesson 1: "God's Great Redemptive Plan" Genesis 12:1-3
"I will bless those who bless you…" Genesis 12:3
The more things change, the more they stay the same
Romans 1 is a universal picture of humanity
1:23 - "exchanged the glory of immortal God for images of men"
1:24 - "God gave them over to sinful desires"; Sex became their god
1:26 - "God gave them over to shameful lusts"; Even the women
1:28 - "God gave them over to a depraved mind"; Look at the list
Sound like today's world? How about the first 12 chapters of Genesis? Cain, Tower of Babel, Noah's Ark, Sodom and Gomorrah…
God's Great Love
God looked at this world in its sin, and He chose a process leading to the one final and great sacrifice of His Son. He chose a method that would take time, because of His great patience.
God is very clear about the penalty for sin. But God does not act without warning. Noah spent 120 years building the ark. (I Pet. 3:20, II Pet. 2:5)
Now, God extended his grace even further, in a plan that has lasted nearly 4,000 years now. And it all began with Abraham.
God's Sovereign Choice
We're not told why God chose Abraham, or if there were other candidates. From Noah's example (6:8,9) we know God begins His acts of mercy by communicating with those whose hearts are open to truth. Abraham seemed to be this kind of person.
Abraham came from a land and from a family steeped in idolatry (Josh. 24:2. Gen. 11:27-32)
Ur was one of the most important cities of the time. It had developed into an advanced civilization. Ur and Haran both followed the religion of the day, whose chief deity was the moon god Nanna.
Could this be called favoritism? (Consider Rom. 3:10-12)
With this background, God commands Abram ("great father") to leave that land. We're not told what went through his mind, but Abram went.
God made three promises to Abram. God promised land, a large family that would become a great nation, and a special blessing that would affect everyone on earth.
God's plan of redemption for all humanity began here. Sarai was barren. This great nation would not come by natural generation. Isaac was a gift from God. From that line would come Jesus, who would call us all out of sin, just as Abram was called.
#1) God is a merciful and loving God who is reaching out to all humanity (John 17:20-23)
God is long-suffering toward lost humanity, patiently waiting for men and women to respond to His love and grace (I Pet. 3:20, II Pet. 3:3-4,8-9)