Hey friends, this is the last installment of our Abrahamic Covenant series.
I wanted to begin our FOI Blog with the Abrahamic Covenant series because all of our convictions at the Friends of Israel stem from this eternal promise.
First, the promise that God deeded the land of Israel to the Jewish people, that’s why we teach about the significance of the land of Israel (past, present, and future) and we stand in solidarity with the Jewish people. Second, the promise that God made to Abraham that he would be the father to many descendants, and in particular ONE descendant that would change the course of human history, His name is Jesus. This is why we strive to communicate the truth about the Messiah Jesus effectively to all people. Finally, today we look at the universal nature of the Abrahamic Covenant, the Blessing.
So far every element of the Abrahamic Covenant we’ve examined (Land and Descendants) has been directed to Abraham for the benefit of the Jewish people. Yet, what is often overlooked concerning this amazing promise is that God designed and implemented this covenant for the benefit of ALL mankind! Yes, if you are a believer in Jesus the Messiah in many ways you are beneficiary of this grand promise.
God said to Abraham, “…And so you [Abraham] shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen 12:2-3).
What did God mean when He told Abraham he and his descendants would be a blessing?
God wanted Abraham to know that his name and his descendants would always be known as a people of blessing to the world. Ultimately, if anyone was searching for a prime example of what it meant to be a blessed they could see Abraham and his descendants (Israel) and find the God that has abundantly blessed them. With this understanding of “blessing” in mind The New English Translation (NET) translates Genesis 12:2, “… I will bless you [Abraham], and I will make your name great, so that you [Abraham] will exemplify divine blessing.”
God wanted to use Abraham and his descendants as a tiny mirror to reflect the immensity of God’s grace to a lost and broken world. The Lord strategically placed that tiny mirror in the land of Israel on purpose. Israel is a natural land bridge between modern day Europe, Turkey, and Middle East to Egypt and Northern Africa. That’s why every major historical empire wanted to control it (Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans) and sought to conquer it. When these convoy of traders journeyed though the promised land they encountered the people God chose to communicate His message. God wanted to use the land He promised to Abraham as a place to announce to the world that regularly traveled through that He is the one and only Sovereign God.
I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.
God’s promise to Abraham was established on this premise, that if he goes, God is with him (not a bad deal). God united Himself to Abraham through this covenant, therefore, anyone who enriches Abraham or his descendants benefits from the blessing, that is God blesses them.
On the other hand, anyone who “curses” Abraham has God to answer to. The first “curse” in Genesis 12:3 literally means “to take lightly”. God was saying to Abraham if anyone takes this covenant lightly and mistreats you or your descendants I will curse them because they mistreated Me. The second “curse” in Genesis 12:3 means “to banish, or remove from blessing”. Again the New English Translation (NET) translates this verse, “I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse.”
If the covenant made with Abraham is eternal in nature than we must assume this aspect of this promise still applies today. That is, God does not take lightly His covenant with Abraham. I believe this comes across in Paul’s letter to the Romans when he tells even the church, “… do not be arrogant toward the branches [Israel]; but if you [church] are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root [Abrahamic Covenant]. but the root supports you” (Rom. 11:18).
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.
The Abrahamic Covenant is not a static promise that remains in the book of Genesis, its purpose flows all throughout the Scriptures (OT & NT) and does not solely benefit the Jewish people, but is designed to bless all the families of the earth.
I’ll give you two ways the Abrahamic Covenant has blessed us. First, God communicated His Word through the promised descendants of Abraham. The Bible you and I read during church, devotions, bible studies, and Sunday schools was promulgated through the Jewish people. Everyday His Word encourages, corrects, teaches, and reveals to us more about the character of God and His Son, Jesus. That’s a blessing!
Second, through the Abrahamic Covenant God promised to send one particular descendant that would change the course of human history forever, Jesus. Jesus, according to the Scriptures, a descendant of Abraham is the promised Messiah who fulfilled all the prophecies spoken by the Jewish prophets. He lived a perfect life, He died a sacrificial death according to the Law, and it was by His blood that we’ve been set free from sin (Rev. 1:5). He was resurrected from the dead to validate His sacrifice and deity, thus enabling us to live in newness of life by the promised Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:4). Now that’s a blessing! All these blessings that come from the one promise made to Abraham more than 4000 years ago.