A blessing for the world


Take a brief look at Abraham with me today as we continue our tour through Jesus’ Bible. Everyone should stop reading this article now and fetch your Bible! Before I continue, please read Genesis 12:1-9.

In this passage, there are eight specific blessings that God said he would give to Abraham. First, God promises that Abraham would have many descendants when he says, “I will make you a great nation.” Second, Abraham was to be blessed with great wealth, as God said, “I will bless you.” Third, God promises that Abraham would become famous (“I will make your name great.”) But even then, God continues with a fourth blessing that he will bless those who bless Abraham, and, fifthly, curse those who curse Abraham. A sixth blessing describes how, because of his many descendants, wealth, and fame, Abraham will be able to be a blessing to others. Next, God promised that he would bless the entire world because of Abraham (“In you all of the families of the earth will be blessed.”). Finally, there is a blessing that Abraham’s children would be given the physical land of Canaan.

Covering each of these individually in a short article is not possible. Any person could make a study of them on their own and discover how they have all come to pass. My focus here rests on just one of these blessings that has application to those who are not the physical descendants of Abraham—the promise that through Abraham all of the families of the earth will be blessed. The ultimate fulfillment of this promise was the coming of Messiah Jesus. He is a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. All of the families of the earth have certainly been blessed through him.

Let’s pause for a moment to define some terms. In these article that I write, I choose to use “Hebrew Scriptures” to refer to the section of the Bible commonly called the Old Testament, and the term “Apostolic Scriptures” to refer to what is known as the New Testament. I personally don’t care for the connotation connected to “new” and “old” so I don’t use them.

Thus we read in the Apostolic Scriptures in Acts 3:25-26, “You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your forefathers, saying to Abraham, ‘and in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from wickedness.” Here in his sermon on the day of Pentecost, Peter uses a verse from Genesis 12 to point out to the Jewish people present in Jerusalem for the holiday, that they are the direct heirs to the promises that God made to Abraham. Specifically, the arrival of Messiah Jesus fulfilled the promise that every person of earth would be blessed. He came to the Jewish people first, and then to the entire world to bring great blessing.

For the non-Jewish world, Paul considers that our faith and trust in Messiah Jesus allows us to be considered adopted children of Abraham. In other words, when we read the accounts and stories of Abraham in Jesus’ Bible, we have assurance that these promises apply directly to us. As Paul says in Galatians 3:29, if we belong to Messiah Jesus, then we are children of Abraham and therefore heirs to the promises that God made to him — truly a blessing for the whole world!

Frank Fenton is a lifelong student of the Word of God. He attends the Church of the Messiah in Xenia where he shares teaching duties for the weekly Bible study class, as well as contributing to the congregational teaching.

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