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The Blessing of Abraham

18 November 2018, 11:15


1. 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.”

a. Faith is a characteristic element of Abraham, and the story of this faith begins here. Heb. 11:8

b. The beginning of Genesis 12 is in contrast to the beginning of chapter 11, which tells the story of the tower of Babel. Gen 11:4

Found a land they wanted to stay in
Allows God to show him a land
Want to stay in Mesopotamia
Obeys God to leave Mesopotamia
Want to make a name for themselves
God will make his name great
Build themselves a city and a tower
Builds an altar to the Lord
Don’t want to be scattered
Allows God to lead him where he doesn’t know
Receive judgement for not being faithful to God’s plan
Receives blessing for being faithful to God’s plan

2. 2And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

a. Abraham receives an escalating, three-fold blessing, which produce a climactic outcome. Thus: the increase of descendants brings in an increase in blessings, which produce a great name, which culminates in – Abraham, the source of blessing (ESV: so that you will be a blessing).

b. Be in this clause is an imperative, and should actually be translated as a command: and be a blessing. This is governed by the word go in verse one. Thus, God commands to Abraham to go …be a blessing.
Gen 17:1.

c. That God is the architect of Abraham’s becoming a blessing is emphasized by the four first-person, future verbs used here: … to the land that I will show you, and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great.

3. 3I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonours you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

a. God now delineates just how Abraham is able to be the source of blessing to others. God will bless those who bless Abraham. The blessing or cursing others receive from God are independent of Abraham’s actions. Their attitude towards him determines what they will receive from God.
b. The blessing God wants to bring is not to be seen merely as material blessings. The ultimate fulfilment of this is, of course, in Christ. Gal 3:8

c. The word earth [adamah (אֲדָמָה)] is, more properly, ground. This word is chosen specifically to connect the salvation theme back to Adam. Gen 3:17

d. The words bless/blessing are used five times in this passage. This is to nullify the curse that had come upon the ground previously. The word curse is used five times previously in Genesis. Gen 3:14, 17,
Gen. 4:11, Gen. 5:25, 29

Jesus’ Love, Chuck

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