Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Promise of His Coming (2)

When you think of promises in the Bible, you naturally think of Abraham. Despite his many failings, Abraham received the promises of God as the rescue mission was moved to the next level.

Wickedness has spread and contaminated everyone, ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God's command. Things were so bad that God started all over again with Noah and his family after the flood, and yet they're still getting worse. The Tower of Babel has highlighted again the folly of human pride and self-reliance, so that people are scattered across the earth, unable to understand one another.

It's in this bleak landscape that the glorious rays of the gospel shine again, as God calls Abraham (Abram) to the unknown. God makes his great promise of a land, descendants, and blessing, through his offspring. At this point Abram is 75 and very childless, yet he believes that God can do it.

The immediate offspring is his son of promise, Isaac, and yet this promise of Genesis 12 is another pointer to the Lord Jesus, through whom the Gentiles are included in the people of God through faith. As God promises:

In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.' (Genesis 12:3)

Abraham's family will be blessed, and yet the blessing will overflow far beyond his own boundaries so that people from every tribe and language and people and nation will share in his blessing. And it all comes through Abraham's offspring, 'Jesus Christ... the son of Abraham' (Matthew 1:1) 'so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.' (Galatians 3:14)

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