Genesis 12-17; Abraham 1-2: “To Be a Greater Follower of Righteousness” (February 7-13)

Melchizedek Blesses Abraham” (detail), by Walter Rane

God rewards those who diligently seek Him. (See Hebrews 11:6.)

Abraham lived in an idolatrous society, but he somehow came into possession of sacred records kept by his ancestors, and he wanted the same blessings they had received: greater knowledge, greater righteousness, and the Priesthood. (See Abraham 1:1-4.)

In response, God led Abraham and his people away from Chaldea (Babylon) to Canaan (Israel), and He promised to bless Abraham’s posterity, temporally and spiritually. (See Abraham 2:9-11, Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 13:14-17, Genesis 15:1-6, Genesis 17:1-8.)

Abraham also received the priesthood under the hand of Melchizedek. (See Genesis 14:18-20, Joseph Smith Translation: Genesis 14:25-40, Doctrine and Covenants 84:14.)

In Abraham’s experience, we see the generosity of God. Several times in the narrative, Abraham was willing to settle for lesser blessings, because the full blessings appeared to be unrealistic. Each time, God reaffirmed that Abraham and his wife Sarah would receive everything they had been promised. (See Genesis 15:2-6, Genesis 17:18-21.)

Here are some lessons I’ve learned from these chapters, with relevant blog posts:

Blog Posts: February 8-13

The Abrahamic Covenant

God repeated a set of promises to Abraham over and over again. When some of the promises seemed unlikely to happen, God reaffirmed to Abraham that they would all literally be fulfilled. These promises appear for the first time in Genesis 12:2-3. Here is that passage, as it appears in the King James Version of…

Father of Many

Why did God change Abram’s name? The name Abram (a variant of Abiram) consists of two parts: ab (אָב), meaning “father,” and rum (רוּם), meaning “exalted” or “lifted up.” You could translate the name as “exalted father,” or “father who is respected and admired.” When Abram was 90 years old, God appeared to him and…

Abram and Lot: No Strife

The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.Proverbs 17:14 As Abram and his nephew Lot returned from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan, there was a dispute among their people. Instead of letting the issue fester, Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife, I pray…

Going to Egypt

I’ve been reflecting today on Abraham’s time in Egypt. God led him to the land of Canaan and promised that his descendants would live there, but shortly after, Abraham and his family moved to Egypt, seeking relief from a severe famine. (See Genesis 12:6-10, Abraham 2:18-21.) Abraham’s grandson Jacob moved to Egypt years later, again…

A Land of Promise

Abraham recognized that it was time for a change. “I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence,” he wrote (Abraham 1:1). God had promised to lead him by the hand (Abraham 1:18), and take him to “a strange land” where his descendants would become “a great nation” (Genesis 12:1-2). The…

“Eternity Was Our Covering”

As Abraham traveled from Haran to Canaan, he and his family camped in tents. He later described the experience in these words: “Eternity was our covering and our rock and our salvation, as we journeyed” (Abraham 2:16). Elder Dale G. Renlund quoted this passage as he taught students how to deal with anxiety about an…

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