The promised blessing

sunrise

“For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.”  –  Genesis 18:18

In the initial call and promise, God told Abram that he would become a great nation.  In the second announcement, mentioned in the verse above, the promise seems almost identical.  But the next verse adds that God would bring it about, referring to the promise.

In the drama of the third announcement in Genesis 22 we find a significant shift.  Abraham obeyed God by offering his son Isaac.  No longer is the promise of blessing to be fulfilled during the lifetime of Abraham, but instead, in the days of his children yet to come.  God promised this with the surprising gravity of solemnly swearing with an oath.  The purpose of the oath was to assure future generations that God would not fail to fulfill His promise to bless all nations, and that He would do this amazing thing through them.

God gave the promise a fourth time, this time directly to Isaac,  In the fifth declaration, God promised Jacob that his descendants would be numerous. At the time, Jacob may have thought that the geographic expansion was nothing more than populating the immediate land of promise.

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