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.)
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:
- Our efforts to draw closer to God, to receive His grace, and to keep covenants with Him can bless not only our own lives but the lives of other people: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Abraham?
- Spiritual records can strengthen subsequent generations (Abraham 1:31): Record-keeping.
- Some spiritual experiences only happen when we intentionally seek them (Abraham 1:1-4): Witnesses.
- Abraham knew God by the name of Jehovah (Abraham 1:16, Abraham 2:8): What Is the Significance of the Name “Jehovah?”.
- One way that God teaches us is through other people, men and women of strong faith who declare truths they have received from Him (Abraham 2:11): The Chosen Vessels of the Lord – Moroni 7:31-32.
- Everyone who is willing to receive the gospel will inherit the promises made to Abraham (Abraham 2:10): I Will Establish My Church Among Them – 3 Nephi 21:20-22.
- We can pray to God with full confidence that we will receive an answer (Abraham 2:12): Ask, and It Shall Be Given unto You – 3 Nephi 14:7-11.
- The scattering of Israel helped to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham that his descendants would bless all families across the earth (Genesis 12:3): So Shall He Sprinkle Many Nations – 3 Nephi 20:43-45.
- Tithing enables us to demonstrate that we value God more than our earthly possessions (Genesis 14:20): Tithed.
- Priesthood power is eternal—”without beginning of days or end of years”—and that those who receive it must use it with reverence and respect (Genesis 14:17-20): Who Was Melchizedek?
- To “keep” a covenant implies accountability; we maintain it, take care of it, and preserve it (Genesis 17:9-10): What Does It Mean to “Keep” God’s Commandments?