When God called Abraham
in Genesis 12:1-3, he received several promises. The
final element of the blessing is found in these
words: "And in you all the families of the earth
will be blessed" (Genesis 4:12b). It reaches back
into the families being divided by sin in Adam's
fall (Genesis 3), the deluge and the confusion of
the languages at Babel. The curse of sin will be
replaced by blessings. It will be a blessing so
great that its effect will extend to "all the
families of the earth."
Abraham took God at His
word and believed Him. "For what does the Scripture
say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to
him as righteousness'" (Romans 4:3).
Let's bear in mind that
Abraham did not merit God's special blessings. There
was nothing in Abram that commended him to God.
"There is no one righteous, not even one" declares
the Word of God. Abram had an idolatrous background
(Joshua 24:1-3). Even though he had a pagan ancestry
God in mercy and grace reached down to Abram. The
great blessings of God always begin with His grace.
God saved him by grace.
This blessing can be
thought of only in connection with the promised
Savior. This promise to Abraham is definitely
messianic and determines that the Messiah is to
emerge from the line of Abraham. Only in the idea of
the Messiah does the depth of the thought adequately
display itself. All of the promises that followed in
the Hebrew Scriptures were merely expansions, closer
definitions and identifications of the salvation
held out to the whole human race in this promise.
The Gospel writer
Matthew, writing to Jewish people, began with these
words from "The book of the genealogy of Jesus
Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham"
When the Messiah arrived
He declared to a group of teachers of the Law, "Your
father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and He saw
it, and was glad" (John 8:56). Abraham was overjoyed
to see the fullness of time when the Messiah would
indeed be a spiritual blessing. The unbelieving
Jewish leaders responded to Jesus, "You are not yet
fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus
said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before
Abraham was born, I am" (John 8:57-58). The ultimate
fulfilment of the promises of God is made to rest
upon the divine promise and the person of the
Messiah rather than upon human faithfulness. The
great "AM" was speaking to them (Exodus 3:14).
That day came when Jesus
Christ died on the cross to take away the sins of
every individual who will believe on Him as their
personal Savior. Have you received the joy of our
father Abraham? The LORD God of Abraham is ready to
bless you right now.
Abraham was the first of
a great remnant who believed God's promises
regarding the coming of the Messiah. The writer of
Hebrews says, "All these died in faith, without
receiving the promises, but having seen them and
having welcomed them from a distance, and having
confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the
earth" (Hebrews 11:13).
You can't find a better
summary than the following by the Apostle Paul in
"Even so Abraham believed
God, and it was reckoned to him as Righteousness.
Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith
who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing
that God would justify the Gentiles by faith,
preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying,
'All the nations will be blessed in you.' So then
those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the
Paul's whole point to the
Jewish people is that the real spiritual sons of
Abraham are those who believe as he did, "they which
be of faith" (Rom. 3:26; 4:16; 14:23). They are not
God's people out of blood ties with Judaism.
"Abraham believed and it was reckoned to him as
righteousness." Our father Abraham was justified by
faith alone. God chose him out of His rich grace.
Abraham did not earn it. He did not merit it. Yahweh
reached down to Abraham and called him to be the
father of His chosen people. Abraham believed the
promise. He took God at His word and God reckoned
Abraham as righteous.
We who have come to know
Christ by faith are blessed with Abraham. God's
blessings are limitless, and they are ours just like
they were Abraham's. This is part of Paul's whole
argument of justification by faith. Salvation is by
grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. God
reckons us as righteous by our faith in Christ.
"Now the promises were
spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say,
'And to seeds,' as referring to many, but rather to
one, 'And to your seed,' that is, Christ. . . . And
if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's
descendants, heirs according to promise" (Galatians
The physical seed of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is Christ, and the
spiritual seed of Abraham includes every true child
of God who receives Jesus Christ by faith. Abraham's
blessings have become our blessings. "And in you all
the families of the earth shall be blessed." The
gospel of salvation through faith is for all
nations. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the
Law, having become a curse for us" for it is
written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree' in
order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham
might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive
the promise of the Spirit through faith" (Galatians
While preaching in the
Temple complex Peter brought a message to a dramatic
conclusion with these powerful words: "And likewise,
all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and
his successors onward, also announced these days. It
is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the
covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to
Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the
earth shall be blessed.' For you first, God raised
up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning
every one of you from your wicked ways" (Acts
3:24-26). There weren't any questions in the mind of
the Apostles as to who this person was.
The most astounding
mystery in the Bible is found in Colossians 1:26-27.
Paul writes of "the mystery which has been hidden
from the past ages and generations, but has now been
manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make
known what is the riches of the glory of this
mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you,
the hope of glory." A Jewish God residing in a
Gentile heart! That was revolutionary to Peter and
Paul. It is still the most revolutionary message in
the entire universe.
That is how much the Lord
God loves you and me. "For God so loved the world"
(the families of the earth), that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not
perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send
the Son into the world to judge the world, but that
the world might be saved through Him. He who
believes in Him is not judged; he who does not
believe has been judged already, because he has not
believed in the name of the only begotten Son of
God" (John 3:16-18, italics mine).
There is a sense in which
the call that Abraham responded to comes to each one
of his believing children. It is a call to absolute
trust in the Lord. God the Holy Spirit speaks to us
regarding the truths of God's Word and we must step
out in simple faith in Christ. Biblical faith is
simply believing God and acting on His Word.
If you have never put
your trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior,
please do so right now. The very moment that you
believed on Christ you fulfill the great promise God
gave to our father Abraham centuries ago!
Isn't it wonderful being
a part of God's history? If you are a completed
Hebrew, you have a double blessing! However, God's
blessings are not just for our Jewish friends, it
includes us non-Jews, too. "And in you" Abraham,
"all the families of the earth shall be blessed!"
Oh, praise the LORD God!
Abraham is called "God's
friend," and you can be one, too.
12:1-3 Count Your Blessings, Abraham
Christ in the Old Testament