“Unit 4: Day 4, Abraham 2; Genesis 12,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 4: Day 4,” Old Testament Study Guide
Abraham was commanded by the Lord to leave his country, and he obeyed. He took his family and was led by the Lord toward the land of Canaan. They stopped in Haran for a time, where the Lord appeared to Abraham and explained the Abrahamic covenant. Abraham then traveled through Canaan to Egypt.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
Who are you? (Remember there are a number of ways to describe yourself.)
Which of the descriptions you wrote is most important to you?
As you read the following statement by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, think about how you would fill in the blanks: “You may enjoy music, athletics, or be mechanically inclined, and someday you may work in a trade or a profession or in the arts. As important as such activities and occupations can be, they do not define who we are. First and foremost, we are spiritual beings. We are sons [and daughters] of and the seed of ” (“Becoming a Missionary,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 47).
You might remember from your study of Moses 1 that we are all children of God. In addition, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are the seed of Abraham. The term “seed of Abraham” refers to Abraham’s posterity or descendants. Write God and Abraham in the blanks of the quotation in that order.
Of all of the ways Elder Bednar could have described you, why do you think he identified you as the “seed of Abraham”? As you study Abraham 2, consider what it means and why it is important to know that you are the seed of Abraham.
In Abraham 2:1–5 we read that Abraham married Sarai and then the Lord led them and members of Abraham’s extended family, including his nephew Lot, out of Ur and toward the land of Canaan. The travelers stopped for a time in a land they named Haran. Use Bible Maps, no. 9, “The World of the Old Testament,” to locate Ur, Haran, and the land of Canaan.
Read Abraham 2:6, looking for what happened to Abraham in Haran.
You might want to mark in verse 6 the answers to the following questions:
What did the Lord want Abraham to be?
What did the Lord promise to give Abraham and his righteous seed?
What did the children need to do in order to receive the land?
The Lord’s promises recorded in verse 6 are part of what is known as the Abrahamic covenant. The Abrahamic covenant refers to all the covenants and promises God offered to Abraham and his seed.
- At the top of a page in your scripture study journal, write the heading Responsibilities and Blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant. Then list the following responsibilities and blessings found in Abraham 2:6: Be a minister of Jesus Christ. Hearken to the Lord’s voice. Receive land for an everlasting possession.
The phrase “everlasting possession” means the promise of land extends into eternity. The earth will eventually become part of the celestial kingdom, which the obedient will inherit (see D&C 88:17–20). Write celestial kingdom on your list next to the phrase “Receive land for an everlasting possession.”
You will be asked to refer to this assignment page and add to your list in future lessons. The items you write on the list today will especially help when you study Genesis 17.
Read Abraham 2:7, looking for assurances that the Lord can and will keep His promises to Abraham and Abraham’s seed. You may want to mark what you find.
Study Abraham 2:8–11, searching for additional responsibilities and blessings the Lord promised to Abraham and his posterity. Add what you find to your “Responsibilities and Blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant” list in your scripture study journal.
Which of the blessings promised to Abraham and his seed would you like to receive? Why?
According to verse 10, who are those called after Abraham’s name? Those who receive the gospel of Jesus Christ are called after Abraham’s name.
Review the list you have made under “Responsibilities and Blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant” in your scripture study journal. Using what you have recorded, complete the following principle summarizing our responsibilities as the seed of Abraham: As the seed of Abraham, we have a responsibility to .
To help you understand the significance of your responsibilities as the seed of Abraham, imagine that the people in your country have been exposed to a fatal disease and everyone will soon die without a particular medicine. Only your family has the necessary medicine, and you have enough to cure everyone who is sick. What would you want your family to do with the medicine?
What might you say to a family member who felt too busy or nervous to help distribute the medicine?
How might our need to help others in this situation be like our responsibility as the seed of Abraham?
The following statement by Elder David A. Bednar helps us better understand who we are and the responsibilities we have:
“Truly, great responsibility rests upon the seed of Abraham in these latter days. …
“… We are here upon the earth at this time to magnify the priesthood and to preach the gospel. That is who we are, and that is why we are here” (“Becoming a Missionary,” 47).
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
In addition to serving as full-time missionaries, how else can we bless the families of the earth?
What can we do to bless our own families and the families of our friends and neighbors?
The blessings of salvation and eternal life identified in Abraham 2:11 are the greatest promises the Lord has made to Abraham and his seed.
- Ponder and then answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How do you feel about being numbered among the seed of Abraham?
Read Abraham 2:12–13, looking for the conclusions Abraham drew from his experience with the Lord. You may want to mark what you find.
Notice in verse 12 that Abraham said he had “sought [the Lord] earnestly.” To do something earnestly means to do it with a sincere and intense desire.
From what you have learned about Abraham in the last two lessons, how did he seek the Lord earnestly?
What can we learn from Abraham’s earnest seeking of the Lord (see Abraham 2:12)?
- In your scripture study journal, write some examples of how you can earnestly seek the Lord. Consider setting a goal to more earnestly seek the Lord in your daily life.
In Abraham 2:14–21 we read that Abraham and his family traveled south from Haran to the land of Canaan. In the land of Canaan, Abraham offered sacrifice, and the Lord declared that this land was to be the land promised in the Abrahamic covenant. Because of a famine in the land, Abraham decided to travel to Egypt.
Abraham 2:22–25 shows us that before Abraham entered Egypt, the Lord warned him that the Egyptians would see how beautiful his wife, Sarai, was and kill Abraham so they could take her. Therefore, the Lord instructed Sarai to say that she was Abraham’s sister in order to save Abraham’s life and to protect her. Both Sarai and Abraham acted in faith, believing that God would deliver them.
In Genesis 12:14–20, we read that after they arrived in Egypt, Sarai was taken into Pharaoh’s house and Abraham was given riches. The Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house until Pharaoh learned that Sarai was married to Abraham. Pharaoh then restored Sarai to Abraham and sent them away, but he allowed them to keep the riches.