Posted On April 12, 2022

The Return to Canaan

by | Apr 12, 2022 | Featured, Genesis

Genesis 13:1-4, “So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb. Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord.”

Our story continues from the gospel of John back to the book of Genesis, chapter 13. Despite his faithful travelling from Ur to Canaan, Abram soon left the Promised Land in order to find food in Egypt (12:10). While there, he distrusted God by lying about his relationship with Sarai (vv. 11–20), but God still allowed him to leave that country wealthy, even while frowning upon his deception.

Having escaped a potentially bad situation by God’s grace, Abram left Egypt. In many ways this account parallels the events the nation of Israel faced. Moses wrote Genesis as a means to emphasize Yahweh’s gracious desire to liberate His people from Egyptian tyranny. When they heard the story of Abram leaving Egypt for Canaan, the Israelite nation would understand their calling was to do the same. Famine led Abram and Israel to enter Egypt (12:10; 42:1–46:27) and plagues sparked the exodus of each (12:17–20; Ex. 7:14–12:32). Likewise, both left the Nile delta with riches (Gen. 13:2; Ex. 12:35–36).

In His wisdom, God worked out His plan of redemption through the history of His people, and we often see early events in Israel’s history come to symbolize the greater events promised by God. This helps us to interpret Scripture better too. For example, Matthew 2:13–15 tells us that Jesus’ own exodus from Egypt fulfills Hosea 11:1, identifying Jesus with Israel, God’s people. Israel was redeemed from Egypt in order to serve Yahweh as His light to the world (Ex. 7:16), but they failed to keep covenant. Jesus’ miraculous rescue from Herod and His return from Egypt revealed that His mission was the same as Israel’s (Heb. 10:7). The big difference is, Jesus did not fail (1 Peter 2:22); therefore, He is the true Israel of God (see John 15:1–17).

Genesis 13:1–4 highlights divine providence as well. Abram’s reasons for lying to Pharaoh are not commendable, but God enriches him despite his distrust. In like manner, we see that God often blesses us despite our sin, and He does so because He loves us. We are to trust Him in the midst of our trials, even if we did not earn them, for His hand is moving for the good of His glory, which is our good as well (Rom. 8:28). The story of Joseph makes this last point especially clear.

Coram Deo

All of those who are in Christ are also the Israel of God (Gal. 6:16). We can therefore expect that God is moving to provide for His faithful servants just as He did under the old covenant, even if it may seem at times that God has left this world behind. If you feel trapped by difficult circumstances, be encouraged that if you know Jesus, you are sharing in His sufferings, and thus you have the hope of eternal resurrected life.

The Return to Canaan, Copyright (2022), Ligonier Ministries.

Related Posts

Weekly Roundup 5/16/2022-5/21/2022

Weekly Roundup 5/16/2022-5/21/2022

This is our weekly roundup of posts for 5/16/2022-5/21/2022. If you have any feedback on how we can serve you our readers better, I would appreciate it. Thank you for reading and allowing us to minister to you throughout this past week through these posts. Monday...

Cut Off

Cut Off

Genesis 17:14, “Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Though there is a certain priority given to Abraham’s natural seed (see Gen. 17:21), from the beginning it is clear...

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by God

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by God

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “Did God Really Know Me Before I Was Born? What You'll Hear on this Episode What the Bible Teaches About Life. Helping the Church Be About Life. We Are “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” But Need Redemption from...

Why We Need the Puritans

Why We Need the Puritans

Who the Puritans Really Were Horse racing is said to be the sport of kings. The sport of slinging mud has, however, a wider following. Pillorying the Puritans, in particular, has long been a popular pastime both sides of the Atlantic, and most people’s image of...

Native and Foreigner

Native and Foreigner

Genesis 17:11-13, “You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share
Tweet4
Email
Reddit
Share