Genesis 12:9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.
We finally come to the end of a fairly thorough study of Bethel. If you haven’t travelled along with our posts, please go to our website and start at the beginning.
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The last thing we read of Abram doing in Bethel before he left was to build an altar and call on the name of the Lord.
Then out of the blue he unpegs his tents and travels “TOWARD THE SOUTH”. (הנגבה Ha Negba)
or NEGEV (נגב Negev)
The NEGEV today is the large desert region in southern Israel. Its main city is Be’er Sheva (Beersheba).
Why did Abram head out from the beautiful mountainous area of Bethel toward the south and into a desert?
Perhaps the area of Bethel had been grazed enough, or rain hadn’t fallen for a while. The Bible gives a clue that a famine was beginning on the land (Genesis 12:10), but for whatever reason, Abram and Lot decided one day to unpeg their tents and head ‘south’ into the Negev.
Personally I think that the Lord was leading Abram by means of an impending famine, to travel throughout the land that He had promised to him and his descendants.
God wanted Abram to see it, to feel it, to know it.
Abram would have had to pitch his tent city in some very remote and desolate places, beside streams, in deep wadis (valleys), on sandy dunes, near wells on the edges of cliffs. He got to see it all as he and his great family travelled along.
And of course with the benefit of hindsight we know that Abram would one day come back to the Negev and live both in Hebron and Beersheba.
It was on this journey south into the Negev that he most likely first saw these places.
Have you ever experienced a drying up of your resources at critical points in your life which has been the catalyst for a change?
A change of jobs, a change of view or, like Abram, a change of location?