Truth, Understanding, Insight

The Promises

22nd April 2008, mgh


1) The Promise to Abraham

The Bible contains promises that unify the whole book and remain consistent from Genesis to Revelation. The secret to the understanding of God's promise is to let the text speak for itself. The following quotations are just a few of the many references made to the wonderful hope that has been given to those who search the pages of the Bible.

There is a promise made several times to Abraham in the book of Genesis. God promises Abraham, who had been instructed to leave the idolatrous land of Chaldea, that his descendants would become a great nation, which was to be the ancient nation of Israel. His name would be great and through his offspring all the earth would be blessed.

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.Genesis 12: 1-3 (see also Genesis 18: 18)

Having been obedient to the Lord's command to leave his homeland, Abraham arrived in the land of promise and the promise was renewed.

And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where you are northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed for ever....
Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.(Genesis 13: 14,15, 17)

As a test of his faith Abraham was told to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. The principlet of animal sacrifice was for the forgiveness of sin and instituted by the Lord in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned. Despite the fact that his son Isaac was the promised seed, Abraham prepared to follow this command but was stopped and a sacrificial offering of a goat was provided. In type Abraham saw that one of his descendants would be the offering for the sins of mankind. This is shown in verse seventeen of the following quote. There is now the mention of a seed that “shall possess the gates of his enemies.” This is a singular 'seed' who would be the Redeemer.

By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, thine only son : That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.
And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22: 16-18)

The Promise Renewed

Isaac, the son of Abraham was also given this promise.

Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for unto you, and unto your seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
And I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto your seed all these countries; and in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. (Genesis 26: 3)

The promise was also given to Jacob, Abraham's grandson.

And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon you lay down, to you will I give it, and to your seed;
And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 28: 13, 14)