12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
Now the Lord
The Fourth Dispensation: Promise. For Abraham, and his descendants it is evident that the Abrahamic Covenant (See Scofield "Genesis 15:18") made a great change. They became distinctively the heirs of promise. That covenant is wholly gracious and unconditional. The descendants of Abraham had but to abide in their own land to inherit every blessing. In Egypt they lost their blessings, but not their covenant. The Dispensation of Promise ended when Israel rashly accepted the law Exodus 19:8 . Grace had prepared a deliverer (Moses), provided a sacrifice for the guilty, and by divine power brought them out of bondage Exodus 19:4 but at Sinai they exchanged grace for law. The Dispensation of Promise extends from Genesis 12:1 to Exodus 19:8, and was exclusively Israelitish. The dispensation must be distinguished from the covenant. The former is a mode of testing; the latter is everlasting because unconditional. The law did not abrogate the Abrahamic Covenant Galatians 3:15-18 but was an intermediate disciplinary dealing "till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made" ; Galatians 3:19-29 ; 4:1-7 . Only the dispensation, as a testing of Israel, ended at the giving of the law.
See, for the other six dispensations: (See Scofield "Genesis 8:21") .
12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
For analysis and summary of the Abrahamic Covenant, (See Scofield "Genesis 15:18") .
12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
12:10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
It is characteristic of all apostasy that Jeroboam chose this sacred place in which to erect an idol 1 Kings 12:28 1 Kings 12:32 . (Cf) 1 Kings 13:1-5 and of divine judgment upon apostasy that God should decree the destruction of Bethel, despite its sacred memories ; 1 Kings 13:1-5 ; 2 Kings 23:15-17 ; Amos 3:14 Amos 3:15 .
The resort to Egypt (the world) is typical of the tendency to substitute for lost spiritual power the fleshly resources of the world, instead of seeking, through confession and amendment, the restoration of God's presence and favour.