Worship Day 5 Trust and Obey: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Post, Trust and Obey!

Genesis 12 English Standard Version (ESV)

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live.13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

17 But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.

The Questions

1) Are Abram and Abraham the same person? Why is his name different?

2) What blessing does God give Abram in v.7?

3) What two places do we see Abram building an altar? What’s the purpose of the altar?

4) Why did Abram lie about Sarai being his wife?

The Findings for Intention

1) Are Abram and Abraham the same person? Why is his name different?
Abram and Abraham are the same person. In this passage of Genesis, God has not yet made His covenant with Abram and it is not until that time that God changes Abram to Abraham. It is important to note that when God made a covenant with Abram, his name change had significant meaning. The name meaning changes from “exalted father”, Abram, to “father of many/multitudes”, Abraham. This was to signify Abraham as the father of the Israelite nation, God’s chosen people. (Genesis 17: 5-6)

2) What blessing does God give Abram in v.7?
There are actually two blessings in this one verse. It is easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. First, God tells Abram He will bless his “offspring” . The problem for Abram that at this point, his wife is barren, leaving Abram with no direct offspring. God’s first promise is for an offspring. Secondly, God promises Abram land. This isn’t just any “land”, this is what is known as the Promised Land. It is the same Promised Land we read about all throughout the Old Testament. The initial promise was given here in Genesis 12.

3) What two places do we see Abram building an altar? What’s the purpose of the altar?
In this passage, there are two places that Abram builds an altar. The first place we see Abram build an altar is passing through Canaan (v.7). God gives him a promise of an offspring and land. He builds an altar to remember what God has promised. Secondly, we see Abram build an altar in Bethel. Immediately following the building of the altar, Scripture tells us that Abram “called upon the name of the Lord”. The second altar was a place of worship. Abram builds altars for remembrance and worship.

4) Why did Abram lie about Sarai being his wife?
In verses 11 and 12, Scripture tells us that Abram asks Sarai to lie because he thinks she is so beautiful they will kill him and take her for themselves. Abram was scared, and although he was faithful in following God to Egypt and obeying God in this season of his life, in this moment he was fearful instead of faithful.

The Everyday Application

1) Are Abram and Abraham the same person? Why is his name different?Throughout Scripture we see the importance of names and the meaning behind them. In this case, Abram’s name was changed to Abraham because he encountered God and God’s plan required a new name for him. When we encounter God and worship Him alone, we are changed and we are called by a new name. (Isaiah 62:2).

2) What blessing does God give Abram in v.7?
The blessings that come with following Christ simply cannot be fathomed. Our call is to trust and obey even when we don’t see the end result or things don’t go as planned. There is blessing that comes in following God’s plan instead of our own.

3) What two places do we see Abram building an altar? What’s the purpose of the altar?
When I think about altars today, I think of a place (sometimes a physical place) where I lay it all down. I come before my Heavenly Father and I make a choice to worship fully and remove any obstacles (including myself) that may hinder my complete obedience. Abram’s altars were for remembrance and worship; He worshipped and remembered the journey God was taking him on. This life is our journey, and as we trust and obey, God allows those places of remembrance and worship to take root.

4) Why did Abram lie about Sarai being his wife?
The bottom line is that Abram was afraid. Instead of trusting God, he trusted his emotion. The problem with emotions is they cloud our judgement and more importantly, they cloud out truth. The truth is God told Abram to go, and God would have protected Abram in his journey had he simply stayed the course. In moments of fear, doubt, or even anger we must filter our emotion through truth and choose to trust and obey!

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, Trust and Obey!
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I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Worship Week One!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Worship!