Wednesday, December 22, 2021

2021.12.22 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 12:1–3

Read Genesis 12:1–3

Questions from the Scripture text: Who is speaking to whom in Genesis 12:1? From where does He tell Abram to leave? Whom does He tell him to leave? What does He tell him to leave? To where does He tell him to go? Into what does Yahweh promise to make him (Genesis 12:2)? What does He promise to do to him? What does He promise to do to Abram’s name? What does He promise to do through Abram? Whom does Yahweh promise to bless (Genesis 12:3)? Whom does He promise to curse? Which families of the earth will find their blessing in him?

This blessing is an extraordinary explosion of grace. There is no evident reason for God’s choosing to show it. As we know from Joshua 24, Terah and Abram and Nahor were idolaters in Ur of the Chaldeans (cf. Genesis 11:27–32). In fact, the only distinguishing characteristic of Abram so far is that he hasn’t “begotten” anybody. Everyone else has, but Abram’s wife is barren (cf. Genesis 11:30).

Well, Abram’s qualifications may be small—non-existent, really. But the promise itself is massive. This is the God of the Bible: the One Who makes and keeps great promises by His goodness and strength, to and through those who are wicked and weak. 

And this promise is a doozy. It’s one thing to have a promise that starts out with making Abram  into a great nation (Genesis 12:2a). It’s a whole other level to go on to promise that he will be the one through whom all the families of the earth will find their blessing (Genesis 12:2d, Genesis 12:3c).

Right alongside the gracious promise is also a reminder that God is selective. For, it’s not every last member of every family on earth that will be blessed. Genesis 12:3b plainly says that some will be cursed. In fact, up to this very day in history, the vast majority have fallen  into the “cursed” category. For, they have indeed rejected great Abram’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Many, indeed, of Abram’s own descendants according to the flesh have done so. That’s not new. The apostle wrestled with that reality in Romans 9-11.

So, God’s unmerited, totally gracious, totally free election is on spectacular display in bringing only some to faith in Jesus And, this same unmerited, gracious, freely electing love is on spectacular display in choosing Abram to be the one through whom the Lord brings Jesus into the world.

But what is it to which they (and we, if we are believers) have been elected? Primarily to lose everything else in the world, in order to have the Lord Himself. To count the Lord as more than everything else put together. 

Abram is told to leave country (Genesis 12:1b). To leave family (verse 1c). To leave the established foundation and heritage of his father’s house (v1d). To lose his inheritance. To go where? “The land that I will show you” (verse 1e). That’s not even a place! It’s not so much a destination as it is a location in the presence of the Person Who is doing the showing. 

Of course, the promises include regaining what is lost many times over, but those things are not to be immediately obtained. At first, all Abram will have is the Lord Himself. Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. That’s what He was called to then. That’s what believers have been called to ever since. That’s what you are called to now. And you are called to do it by the grace of God, Who provides all of the goodness and all of the strength in Himself.

What have you lost for Christ? What have you gained? Whose idea was this to begin with?

Sample prayer:  Lord, You are everything to us. You have created us for Yourself and redeemed us for Yourself. Yet, many times we have clung overtightly to father and mother and brother and sister and houses and lands. Forgive us for treasuring you too little, and stir up our knowledge of You by Your Spirit, which we ask through Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP181 “God Our Only Good” or TPH234 “The God of Abram Praise”

No comments:

Post a Comment