Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture. (Also look at Hebrews 11:8–16.)
1. Here now is the beginning of all that is Israel. Abram means high or honored father, is directed by Yahweh to leave his home city, Ur, located in southern Babylonia, and travel to an as yet unknown destination. Abraham, whom Abram’s name will be changed to, means father of many nations.
2. The reason for the calling of Abram is that through him “all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (And we know from two Gospel writers that Abraham is in Jesus’ genealogy.) This same promise and prophesy is given to Isaac, Abram’s son, and also to Jacob, Abram’s grandson.
3. Abram’s wife Sarai (meaning princess) and Lot his nephew, along with hundreds of other members of the clan, set off for a land unknown. (Sarai’s name will be changed to Sarah which means “to rule.”)
4. After arriving in Egypt, Abram fears that the Pharaoh, or king of Egypt, will take Sarai into his harem because she is so beautiful, and thus fears that he is in danger as a result. Therefore, he says that Sarai is his sister, thus not his wife. In fact, they have the same father, Terah, but she has a different mother than Abram.
5. Pharaoh does bring Sarai into his harem (whether they ever touched is unknown) and he “dealt well with Abram.”
6. Yahweh, despite the half-truth Abram tells the Pharaoh,
afflicts Pharaoh “and his house with great plagues” whereupon Pharaoh calls Abram to account. After Abram receives a severe tongue-lashing from the Pharaoh, he then sends Abram and company away.
7. This is our introduction to Abraham the first of the great patriarchs from whose line will come the Messiah.