Daily Reading: Genesis 12, 13, 14; Matthew 5:1-30
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; (Genesis 12:1, NASB95)
Before God makes any promises to Abraham, He first gives him a command. In order to receive the blessings, he must “Go.” Only by obediently going will he experience all that God has for him. God doesn’t ask an easy thing. He must leave his country, relatives and father’s house to go to a land he has not yet seen (Heb. 11:8). Blessing occurs five times in Genesis 12:2-3, and in fact there are seven statements of blessing,
- “I will make you a great nation”
- “I will bless you”
- “I will make your name great”
- “So you shall be a blessing”
- “I will bless those who bless you”
- “The one who curses you I will curse”
- “In you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
All seven are important blessings, but perhaps the centre and final ones are most important “and so you shall be a blessing,” and “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” God would make him great so that He would bless others, even the whole world.
The Abrahamic story is a pivotal one in Scripture. The promises to Abraham are rooted in the blessings to Adam and Eve (Gen. 1:26-28) and they also look forward to Israel, Jesus, and the church. Paul explains that Abraham was justified by faith so that he might be the father of us all (Rom. 4:3, 16-18; Gal. 3:29). We too must obey God in order to receive what He has for us. Like Abraham, we must repent and believe the gospel (Mk. 1:15). The call to obedience is no less stark for the Christian. We must turn to Christ with everything we are (Lk. 9:23; 14:26-33); yet the blessings in Christ are far greater than we can imagine (2 Cor. 1:20). Are you following in the footsteps of your father Abraham, in terms of repentance and faith? In what ways are you being used by God to bless others?