Genesis 12:1-3 (ESV)
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Whenever I read this passage, I’m struck with the faith that Abraham must have had in order not only to process such a command but also to do it. Of course, the power for his faith came from God. And so I’m humbled to think how God works in man, giving him His strength. But this message to Abraham was more than a command; if the command were gift wrap and faith the arms which reached out to receive, hope would be the gift inside.
In saying that “in [Abram], all the families of the earth shall be blessed,” God was not saying that he was working according to or ultimately for Abram’s greatness. Rather, God was working to make a great nation which would produce the Messiah, and God was the One who was blessing all the earth. Abraham was only God’s instrument.
In my opinion, Abraham must have went through life, in spite of and in light of his many failures (with which we would have been guilty ourselves if we were him), Abraham had the hope that God would someday remedy his utter sinfulness, bafflingly, through his offspring. Even as Isaac was strapped upon Mount Moriah, Abraham hoped in God, because “he considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back” (Hebrews 11:17). For through Jesus Christ, the son of Abraham, all the families of the earth have indeed been blessed.
As Abraham and countless others after him hoped for the coming of the Messiah, we now hope for that day when Christ will come again to this earth, and so we will ever be with the Lord. “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…” (Hebrews 6:19-20). With Abraham, we are, in hope, expectantly “looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).
The God of Abraham Praise
The God of Abraham praise, who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days, and God of Love;
Jehovah, great I AM! by earth and Heav’n confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred Name forever blessed.
The God of Abraham praise, at Whose supreme command
From earth I rise—and seek the joys at His right hand;
I all on earth forsake, its wisdom, fame, and power;
And Him my only Portion make, my Shield and Tower.
Tho’ nature’s strength decay, and earth and hell withstand,
To Canaan’s bounds I urge my way, at His command.
The wat’ry deep I pass, with Jesus in my view;
And thro’ the howling wilderness my way pursue.
There dwells the Lord our King, the Lord our righteousness,
Triumphant o’er the world and sin, the Prince of peace;
On Sion’s sacred height His kingdom still maintains,
And glorious with His saints in light forever reigns.
The whole triumphant host give thanks to God on high;
“Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,” they ever cry.
Hail, Abraham’s God, and mine! (I join the heav’nly lays,)
All might and majesty are Thine, and endless praise.