Small Group Notes

Small Group notes for 19th May

Choose | Pursuing the Promised Land

Choices (Genesis 12 and 13)

Our following of Abram’s story continues this week with his return from Egypt with Lot, and with his multitude of livestock and pots and pots of money. But lets start with a review of what has gone before, because as we look at ‘Choices’ today we  dip back into choices Abram made before returning to the Negev.

I would highlight these key moments of choice in Ch 12:

Re-read Genesis 12:1-6and remind yourself of where God wants Abram to be, and Abrams choice to follow Gods wishes.

Now skip to v10 - because of a famine Abram has chosen to go into Egypt - but there seems no indication in the text that this was God’s wish for him.and V17-20 - although we can hardy label Abrams return a choice - more like e is evicted, leaving pain and destruction in his wake.

Now read Ch 13. What for you is the feel of V 1-4? When I read this, particularly th end of V 4 “There Abram called on the name of the Lord.” I get the feel of Abram as a penitent  - choosing to return the the alter, returnito God, and call on him. 

And then in V5 onwards we read of Abrams key choice in this chapter - effectively a choice not to choose - but to let Lot choose the land to take, to let Lot choose the better part of the land.

Throughout these passages, Abrams choices have consequences - when we have choices to make- or when we need to rethink choices we have already made, what can Abram’s experiences of walking with God tell us?

Abram made the choice (following Gods will) to set up in Caanan and Negev and the famine came. Just because our choice leads to hardship doesn’t mean it isn’t the right one!

Abram choose (probably against Gods will)  togo into Egypt where he got very wealthy. Just because our choice results in great personal outcomes doesn’t mean it is the right one!

However, while Abram prospered - others suffered as a result of Abrams choice to lie about being married to Sarai. We need to look more widely than ourselves to see the effects of our choices.

Abram chose to return to the place he associated with God when he realised he had gone wrong - we can return to Jesus and return to the cross when we need to.

Abram gave away the choice of the better land to Lot. Sometimes our choice must be to let others have the choice!

And we can remember that throughout Abram's choices - good and bad, right and wrong - he remained a friend of God, and God was faithful to him.