Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Promise Unpacked: God's call to Abram...

In Genesis 12:1-3, God calls Abram to leave Haran and go to a land that He would show him. He also includes (vs. 2 and 3) a promise or "covenant" if you will with four provisions or benefits...

1. I will make you into a great nation...This is a pretty bold statement. Abram was 75 years old and he and Sarai had yet to have children. Not only didn't he know the place (because it was a land that God was going to show him) but he didn't have anyone (save Lot) in his line to start this great nation. No place and no descendants. If Abram was going to become the father of a great nation, it had to be through the power of God.

I appreciate the faith of Abraham here. I'm not sure if I have that kind of faith to be quite honest. The faith to believe and follow when he's never seen the land and there is no direct-line heir in the mix...

2. I will make your name great (and you will be a blessing)...Remember man's way versus God's way? The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) where all the people of the earth came together to build a great tower to "make a name for ourselves..."? Again, I have no real idea as to why God chose Abram in particular over anyone else at that time. I do know that God's plans and God's ways are always right and they will succeed. I constantly struggle with choosing my own way, rushing through life and decisions when I would be much wiser to wait on the Lord and let Him be the one to lead. If Abram had set out to make his name great and to be a blessing himself to others, I think he would have failed (in his own power). But God called and God chose and, thankfully, Abram was faithful.

3. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse...We find out later on that the great nation God brings forth out of Abram and his descendants is the nation of Israel. We will also see God's preservation of the nation in multiple stories as we continue our walk through the Old Testament. it will become very evident that this part of the promise package is true. Constantly, God comes to the aid of Israel in the face of overwhelming odds. And He delivers them for His glory.

4. And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you...Here is the most intriguing component of the promise to me. I can understand how God can take one man/one family and make a nation. I can readily see how He could make their name great and even provide blessings and curses for its preservation. But to promise that all peoples on earth from now and forever will be blessed through this one man, one family? I wonder what Abram and Sarai thought about this? Any one of these promises could be overwhelming to any of us. Imagine God saying that He will make you into a great nation. And while your head is reeling from that, He just keeps going and it gets bigger and bigger.

Many will come and go with different interpretations of what God is promising to Abram here. We know that this part of the promise is the best and that God plans to send a Messiah, a Savior through this very nation, this very man called Abram. This Savior will be the fulfillment of all that God has been doing in seeing His Kingdom come forth on earth and it all starts with a call and obedience. Amazing!

Blessing all peoples on the earth through this one person? Why? How will it be done? Only God knows and only God could come up with a story like this one!

Next post: The promise propagated...

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Abram said yes to God ... blessing flowed.

    It's the great eternal question ... if God speaks to us will we hear, will we say yes, what promises will we be given?