Bible Study Outlines
Volume 4, Lesson 4
by C.I. Scofield
The Chosen Family, Part I
The Call of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-4)
- The new beginning
We reach here one of the supreme turning points in the Biblical revelation. Up until this point, the whole Adamic race has been before us. From this point on, the Bible concerns Abraham and his seed -- but always with ultimate blessing for the whole earth. Fulfilling the prophecy in Genesis 9:27, Abraham, a descendant of Shem, is chosen to be the father of the new nation (Genesis 11:10-32).
The Abrahamic call and covenant
The covenant enlarged and confirmed
- Genesis 12:1-3 -- "Out of thy country... unto a land that I will shew thee... I will bless thee." The Abrahamic convenant is unconditional. It does not depend upon Abraham, but upon the divine "I will." Contrast this with the [then] future law: "If ye will" (Exodus 19:5).
Summary of the Abrahamic covenant
- Genesis 13:14-18 -- "Lift up now thine eyes... the land... will I give it, and to thy seed for ever"
- Genesis 15:1-21 -- "Thine heir... shall they come out with great substance"
- Genesis 17:4-8 -- "Many nations... kings... everlasting covenant... everlasting possession"
- Genesis 22:15-18 -- "By Myself have I sworn... bless... multiply... in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (see Galations 3:13-16)
Why was Israel chosen?
- Genesis 12:2 -- "I will make of thee a great nation." Fulfilled in three ways:
- Genesis 13:16 -- "As the dust of the earth." In a natural posterity.
- Genesis 15:5 -- "Look now toward the heaven... so shall thy seed be." In a spiritual posterity: this is fulfilled in all true believers, Jew or Gentile (see John 8:39; Romans 4:16,17; Romans 9:7,8; Galatians 3:6-29).
- Genesis 17:18-20 -- "Ishmael... I will make him a great nation." Fulfilled also through Ishmael.
- Genesis 12:2 -- "I will bless thee." Fulfilled physically (Genesis 13:15-17; 24:35) and spiritually (Genesis 15:6; John 8:56).
- Genesis 12:2 -- "And make thy name great." Abraham is one of the few universal names.
- Genesis 12:2 -- "And thou shalt be a blessing" (see Galatians 3:13,14)
- Genesis 12:3 -- "I will bless them that bless thee"
- Genesis 12:3 -- "And curse him that curseth thee." Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the Jews as they were scattered. It has always fared ill with the nations who have persecuted the Jew, and well with those who have protected him. The future will still more remarkably confirm this part of the covenant (Deuteronomy 30:7; Isaiah 14:1,2; Joel 3:1-8; Micah 5:7-9; Haggai 2:22; Zechariah 14:1-3; Matthew 25:40-45).
- Genesis 12:3 -- "In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." This is the great promise of the covenant, fulfilled in Abraham's seed, Christ (Galatians 3:16; John 8:56-58
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- Isaiah 43:10-12 -- "Ye are my witnesses." Chosen to be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry (see Deuteronomy 6:4).
- Deuteronomy 33:27-29 -- "The eternal God is thy refuge." Chosen to illustrate the blessedness of serving the true God.
- Deuteronomy 4:7 -- "What nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them?" Chosen to receive and preserve the divine revelations (see Romans 3:1,2).
- 2Samuel 7:16 -- "Thy throne shall be established for ever." Chosen to produce the Messiah (see Matthew 1:1).
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