Daily Bible Reading Notes Day 1-7

Day One Genesis 11 v 27-30

Bible Reading

27This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28While his father, Terah, was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29Abram and Nahor were both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30Now Sarai was barren; she had no children. 31Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai,, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.

Notes

From the very outset of Abraham’s story the Bible makes it very clear that his was just an ordinary family like any other, regardless of time or culture. They enjoyed the celebrations of births and marriages, and suffered the pains of death and barrenness. This is therefore to be a fascinating and hugely relevant tale of how God can impact a real life family. The only way this story can be irrelevant to you and your family, is if you choose to let it be so, by not letting it impact your life. As long as faith remains theoretical, and we don’t give our Father access to the realities of the joys and pains of our lives, then the Bible will not impact us. So make a decision now, not just to open your Bible, but to open your life too.

Reflections and Prayer

What are your joys and your pains? What hurts and disappointments do you carry? Have you laid these before your Father and given Him permission to speak into them? Why not do so now?

Going Deeper

• Abram is first in the list of sons, but probably wasn’t the eldest. The Bible probably just focuses on him as the key character in the story.

• Abram married his half sister, and Nahor married his brother’s daughter. This was customary for the time.

• Sarai’s barrenness would have been a major cause of heartache for both Abram and Sarai. However there is no indication Abram sought another bride as would have been common at the time and in the culture. This could say much about the man, and the relationship he enjoyed with Sarai.

 


Day Two Genesis 11 v 31-32

Bible Reading

27This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28While his father, Terah, was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29Abram and Nahor were both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30Now Sarai was barren; she had no children. 31Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai,, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 Terah lived 205 years and he died in Haran

Notes

Terah had a dream and Abram a call. Both were to go to Canaan. Terah failed. Perhaps he wasn’t being honest about his true intentions and only ever really meant to go to Canaan. Perhaps he lacked resolve. Perhaps he got distracted. We don’t know. But it isn’t just dreamers who fail to realise their potential. It is possible to miss or limit the call of God on our lives too. In fact very few seem to realise their potential or God’s purposes, and tragically live in regret or denial. Wonderfully though, as Abram was to find out, it is never too late to work out your call. Don’t live and die unfulfilled.

Reflections and prayer

What have been your dreams or God’s call on your life? Can you differentiate the two? Have you laid down your dreams before Him and allowed Him to give you back what is His call? How far have you gone in fulfilling your call? Have you got distracted, disheartened and stopped half way? How committed to achieving them have you really been? Give them back to God, and let Him pick up what is truly of Him.

Going Deeper

• The Bible records the journey as being Terah’s initiative even though it says the Lord had called Abram to go to Canaan. 

• Nahor isn’t mentioned among the travellers but Haran became known as the town of Nahor, so it is probable he did go along. He just wasn’t central enough to the story for specific mention.

• Sarai is recorded as Terah’s daughter-in-law. In fact she was his daughter by another probably less senior wife.

• Terah probably came from Haran where it is recorded he died.

• There is some discrepancy over when Terah died. He is recorded as being 70 when he had his sons, and Abram was 70 when they began the journey. Abram left Haran five years later, and Stephen in Acts 7v4 says Terah had died in the meantime. These dates can be reconciled if it is accepted that Abram was the youngest son, and Terah was 70 when the eldest son, Haran, was born. He would though have then been 130 when Abram was born!

 

 


Day Three Genesis 12 v 1-3

Bible Reading

31Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai,, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 Terah lived 205 years and he died in Haran 12v1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave you’re your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 

Notes

No pain no gain! Abram had to sacrifice to know a blessing. He was called to go, and the Lord then promised to bless. True blessing can only be known this way. However blessing shouldn’t be the motivation for our sacrifice and going. Christ went to the cross for our sakes, because His Father loves us. We should take up our crosses for Christ’s sake, because we love the Father. And for no other reason. This is obedience the Lord can truly bless. He could bless Abram knowing that he would be a channel of blessing to others, in fact a nation, the whole world, and indeed all generations.

Reflections and prayer

If your Christian life seems to lack reality, passion and fruit, consider what risks you have taken, and what sacrifices you have made for Him? Reflect too that it must all be for Him! What matters most to you: to bless your Father or be blessed by Him? Do you limit His blessing by seeking it for yourself? If you simply lived to bless God and be a blessing to others, what would the Father be able to do through you?

Going Deeper

• It is uncertain whether this is a new call or a record of a previous call Abram had in Ur.

• The promise is to bless all peoples, and the rest of the Bible needs to be read in this context, even when later the Lord commands the Israelites to drive out and destroy those foreigners in the land. 

 

 


Day Four Genesis 12 v 4-5

Bible Reading

12v1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Notes

Abram left as the Lord had told him; BUT Lot went with him. The call was to leave his father’s household and largely he did, but not completely. Perhaps no-one else knew the call God have given him, so no-one knew of his little compromise. Anyway in the wider sphere of things, it really was only a very little compromise. But the Lord knew! He is gracious, and copes with our compromises, but that isn’t the point. Our Christian life shouldn’t be defined by what we can get away with, but rather by how true we have been in our love to our Father; especially when no-one else can see!

Reflections and prayer

What hidden compromises do you know you carry in your life? Can you lay them before your Father as a token of your love?

Going Deeper

• Abram probably felt an obligation to Lot to care for his dead brother’s son, but we have no idea just how old Lot was at this point, and it is very likely he was a mature adult who shouldn’t have needed a particularly high level of care.

 


Day Five Genesis 12 v 6-7

Bible Reading

4So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6Abram travelled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. The Canaanites were then in the land, 7but the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

Notes

The excitement of having arrived in the land didn’t last long for Abram. The Canaanites were there, BUT the Bible continues the sentence with a BUT! The Lord appeared and spoke to Abram. Our Father doesn’t promise to take away the obstacles to us fulfilling our calling, but promises to give us the resources to overcome them. Primarily these resources are His revelation and Word. As long as we live in the revelation and Word, we will have a healthy perspective on everything else. It is when we lose sight of God, and forget His Word, that the real trouble begins.

Reflections and prayer

What obstacles are you confronting as you seek to be faithful to God’s call? What are their causes, and how can they be overcome? Are you taking time to reflect upon the Lord through the day, especially when facing trouble? Imagine whatever it is which scares you exposed before the throne of God! “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

Going Deeper

• The phrase “Site of the great tree of Moreh”, suggests that when Genesis was written the tree was still known.

 


 

Day Six Genesis 12 v 8-9

Bible Reading

6Abram travelled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. The Canaanites were then in the land, 7but the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8From there he went on towards the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.9 Then Abram set out and continued towards the Negev.

Notes

Abram’s response to the revelation of God was to worship. Wherever he went he seemed to build altars and call on the name of the Lord. We are called to be living sacrifices. This is our spiritual worship, Romans 12v1-2. Our whole lives should be worship. However we are also encouraged all through the Bible to keep the name of the Lord on our lips and praise Him at all times. Bringing worship into all our lives, wherever we go, whatever we’re doing, dramatically impacts our lives. There are practical things we can do to facilitate this, and this doesn’t necessarily require building altars! Instead it might mean stopping over a coffee from time to time, and meditating again on whom our Father is and worshipping Him for a minute or two. In fact we can use any of those moments of down time positively like this: driving, waiting, or showering. Carve out those moments and let focusing on Him become a habit.

Reflections and prayer

Is your Father an integral part of your day to day life? What extra space could you carve out for Him? How can you use that time to meditate on Him and worship Him? Ask Him to reveal Himself and speak to you through those times today.

Going Deeper

• Abraham built four altars, Isaac dug four wells, Jacob built four pillars, Joseph had four dreams. Some have seen in these a preface to the work of Christ through the cross, the giving of the spirit, the birth of the church, and the revelation of the Father through the Son.

• Man began calling on the name of the Lord in Genesis 4v26

• The Negev in Abraham’s day almost certainly wasn’t the desert it is today. It is still uncertain though why Abram headed down into the Negev.

 


Day Seven Genesis 12 v 10-13

Bible Reading

8From there he went on towards the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.9 Then Abram set out and continued towards the Negev. 10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

Notes

Rationally it may have made sense to go to Egypt where there was no famine, but Abram was called to go to Canaan, not Egypt. Taking the rational decision is fine as long as it doesn’t take us out of the will of God. As soon as it does, then we can expect problems. It is better to be where it’s tough but where we’re in the will of God, than where it’s seemingly easier but where we’re outside of the will of God. Note Abram’s intention was only to go for a while! Perhaps he justified his decision this way! 

Often we don’t even involve our Father in our day to day decisions. Instead we rely totally on our commonsense. Commonsense is God given, but isn’t always right. Our Father wants to direct our steps through the use of mind and spirit. Pray at all times!

Reflections and prayer

Have you made decisions which look sensible but you know are wrong? Have you allowed yourself to go to a place you know you shouldn’t be “just for a while”, and then found yourself staying there a while longer than you intended? How were those decisions made? How much do you pray through your decisions, both the mundane and the extraordinary? What do you need to do to put right your wrong decisions and to ensure you don’t make the same bad decisions again?

Going Deeper

• We don’t know for sure why Abram chose to go into Egypt.

• Sarai was Abram’s half sister so what they were saying was true. It was also culturally acceptable for a husband to protect himself in this way.