Sunday, June 22, 2014

Abram's Trek

Antediluvian: from the period of time before the biblical flood


The flood changed everything. Where there had once been thousands of people on the earth, there were now only eight. There were only a few of each animal left. It took a long time for the number of people to increase again. After several generations, there were a lot of people on the earth again, and they started to build a tower that would have kept them too close together and kept them from spreading out like God wanted them to do. That would never do, so Dieu les fit parler d'autres langues. Ils ne purent plus se comprendre [God made them speak other languages. They could no longer understand each other], so they abandoned the tower and scattered. More generations passed, and the number of people continued to increase.

Noah's son Shem had a descendant named Terah, who lived in the city of Ur. By this time, people lived a lot shorter than they did in the antediluvian times, though they still lived longer than people live today. In fact, Terah only lived 205 years!

One day, Terah decided it was time to move. He took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai, and his grandson Lot with him. They were planning to move to Canaan, but they didn't quite make it all the way. They stopped in Haran and settled there. That was where Terah would eventually die.

One day, God said to Terah's son Abram, "OK, time to go. I'm gonna show you where to go, and I want you to leave your father's house. I'll make you into a great nation, and I'll bless you. You will be remembered as someone great, and you will be a blessing. If anyone blesses you, I'll bless them, but if anyone curses you, I'll curse them. Every group of people on the earth will be blessed through you."

So Abram left with his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot, along with their stuff and their servants. When they got to Shechem, God told him, "I'm gonna give this land to your descendants." So Abram made a sacrifice to God there. They made a stop between Bethel and Ai, where he made another sacrifice.

About this time, there was a famine, and so they went to Egypt. Abram was a bit scared of the Egyptians, so he told them a half-lie about Sarai. That didn't turn out as well as they had hoped, and when the lie was discovered, they kicked Abram and his family out.

So they left Egypt and went back north. Their group was growing, and their flocks were increasing like crazy. It finally got so there wasn't enough space for Abram's flocks and Lot's flocks. Abram's herdsmen were getting into arguments with Lot's herdsmen. So Abram made a decision. He said to Lot, "It's time to part company. If you turn left, I'll turn right. If you turn right, I'll turn left."

Lot looked both ways and saw that the area of the Jordan Valley was green and beautiful. The other way, not so much. Well, that was a no-brainer! So Lot went east and settled near the city of Sodom, while Abram went west and settled in the region of Canaan. After Lot had left, God made another promise to Abram: "Look around. Look to the north, to the south, to the east, and to the west. I will give everything you see to you and your descendants. In fact, you'll have so many descendants that counting them will be like counting grains of sand! Go ahead and explore the land. I'm giving it to you."

So Abram settled down in Hebron, where he built another altar to thank God for bringing them to this new home and for His promises.

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