Thursday, 3 December 2009

Genesis 12: The call of Abram, Egypt and my great-gran’s Genoa cake

God’s command is comprehensive and daunting in Genesis 12: leave your land, people and loved ones behind (v1). Would we do that? This call on Abram to leave behind what he holds dear comes with a promise though: God says he will Abram a great nation, to bless him and make him a blessing to others; in fact, to all the families of the earth. God's command This call on Abram in the early chapters of the first book of the Bible is the beginning of God’s plan to ultimately bless all nations in his Son, Jesus Christ. The great commission, to ‘make disciples of all nations’ is Jesus’ command for us to continue in working with God's plan. The promise which is begun here in Genesis 12 is one that we are a part of by God’s grace today!

Abram has left his land, his people, but God promises him even more. I wonder if I trust that promise of God → that if I’m asked to give something up for God, it is for my good? The promise of Romans 8 is that for those who love God, all things work together for good. This story is an illustration of that promise. Do we suspect God of short-changing us? We shouldn’t, he is a God of lavish grace.

Abram still has lessons to learn though; afraid of being killed for being the husband of Sarai, he makes her pretend to be his sister. What happened to Sarai in Pharaoh’s household we’re not told, but God’s promise of the seed holds as he protects Sarai. Pharaoh is afflicted by God, and gives Sarai back to Abram, ordering him to leave. Why doesn’t the Lord chastise Abram for his lack of faith in lying about his relationship with Sarai? Maybe it has to do with the seed of the women getting victory over the serpent?

What an amazing chapter showing the LORD’s promises and how he keeps them.

Recipe: this is my great-grandmother’s recipe for Genoa cake. I can tell you from experience that it’s tasty! It felt appropriate given this chilly weather and the Christmas lights on Exeter’s highstreet.

Great-Gran’s Genoa cake

6oz butter
6oz soft brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2lb self-raising flour
4oz sultanas
3oz glace cherries
5oz currants
grated rind of half a lemon
1/4 lb chopped peel (optional)
1 tablespoon of milk
3oz sliced almonds for the top
1 tsp mixed spice if you like it

1. Beat the butter and sugar to a cream (light and fluffy).

2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating till stiff. You can add a little flour with each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.

3. Add all the rest of the ingredients and the milk and mix well. Turn the mixture into a greased and lined tin and bake in the oven at Gas mark 2 for approx 1 1/2hrs.

Enjoy when cooled! Unlike heavier richer Christmas cakes, this can be enjoyed straight away. I think it might be making an appearance at December team-days ☺

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