Last weekend, Dave covered the first 11 chapters of Genesis as we looked at creation, the fall, and the flood. God created us, mankind, in His image. We were uniquely made by Him and the only creatures on the face of the earth bear His image. He did this because He desires to have relationship with us. Unfortunately, sin entered the world and created a great separation between us and God, threatening to destroy any chance of us having relationship with Him. While the flood may look like God’s wrath in destroying all humanity, His grace is evident in His choosing to save one family from which mankind could restart. God did not have to do this; He chose to do this.
While the first 11 chapters of Genesis show God’s dealing with humanity as a whole, the story shifts in Chapter 12 as God calls one man, Abram, to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household to go to a place that God would show him. In doing so, God gives Abram a promise: “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3). Verse 4 simply tells us that, at God’s command, Abram went as the Lord had told him.
Abram’s choice to trust God’s promise and obey Him is significant considering he was 75-years-old. His wife, Sarai, who was just as old as him, had never been able to conceive children. How would God make Abram into a great nation without an heir, without a son to continue his family name? Why didn’t God choose a young, fertile, 20-something couple who were just beginning their lives and still had plenty of years to have many children? I think the answer is that God chooses the impossible in order to set His plan apart from ours. Nobody would have expected Abram and Sarai – the odds were certainly stacked against them. But God chose them in order to display His power more fully.
It would take another 25 years before God would give them the child that would begin the fulfillment of His promise. God used that 25-year period to build Abram’s trust, reaffirm His promise, and even change his and Sarai’s names to Abraham and Sarah. Just as God had promised, Isaac was born to this 100-year-old couple. Even then, God still tested Abraham’s faith to see that he would be willing to give up the thing that was most precious to him, his heir, if God willed it. Abraham demonstrated his absolute faith and trust, and because he did, God once again affirms His promise, saying, “Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
This promise is significant, not just for Abraham and his family thousands of years ago, but for you and me today. From Abraham’s son Isaac, Jacob would be born. Jacob would have 12 sons, who would become the 12 tribes of Israel. And from one of those sons, Jesus, the Messiah, would come. It’s in this way that the fullness of God’s promise to Abraham would be fulfilled – all nations on earth are being blessed as they discover the Messiah for themselves. Not only blessed today, but for all eternity as it is through Jesus that God has restored us to relationship with Himself.
I’m so looking forward to unpacking these truths with you this weekend. You aren’t going to want to miss is! Join us Saturday evening at 5:30 PM or Sunday morning at 10:30 AM. See you then!