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God's Promises

11th October 2006, hej

 

2) The Promises To Abraham

The promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are The Promises,

A number of things were promised to them on more than one occasion. They are collectively The Promises.

The first promise was given soon after arriving in Canaan with Lot.

The LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto your seed will I give this land: Genesis 12: 7

This may be considered unremarkable, a historical fact. Or is it? It was extremely remarkable then for as yet Abraham had no children and a barren wife. The import of this promise is the emphasis on the 'seed' or children. It is expanded a little more in the next promise:

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 seest, to you will I give it, and to your seed for ever. And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall your seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto you. Genesis13:14-18

Abraham would be given the land he sees and walks in - forever, his seed would also be given the same land - forever. This seed would be a multitude.

Note at this point Abraham had no son.

And Abram said, "Lord GOD, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, "This shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be thine heir".
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, "Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if you be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall your seed be".
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
And he said unto him, "I am the LORD that brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it". Genesis 15: 2-7
And he said, "Lord GOD, how shall I know that I shall inherit it?"

Abraham believed that he would have a son and numerous descendants, though his wife was obviously barren. This was coming soon in his lifetime, it was assured. He, however, needed confirmation he would inherit a land he could see as he would not inherit it until after he was long dead. He wanted assurance that he would be alive again.

He is given this assurance.

And you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come here again...In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto your seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

The answer was specific. He would die in peace. Also the covenant was that the descendants would inherit a land with specific boundaries from the Euphrates to the Nile. Not even under Solomon did this happen to Israel. It must happen as it is a covenant. A promise, a contract that cannot be broken. Again after a lapse of many years the promise is expanded:

And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with you,.. and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto you, and to your seed after you. And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

At this time Abraham had a son called Ishamel. But Ishmael called a 'wild man' was rejected. Abraham was told he would have a son born through a miracle to his wide Sarah, who they were to call Isaac. Only with Isaac’s children was this covenant made. They would inherit the land for an everlasting possession. By contrast Ishmael was to be merely a great nation. It is to be noted that Abraham was promised again personally he would inherit the land where he was a stranger.

From 12 to 15 years later comes the promise that underlies many of the Apostles' statements.

And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your 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 your 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.

This is the gospel preached to Abraham, the good news. It is in addition to the previous promises. The seed now not only will inherit the land, and be a multitude, but this seed would cause all the nations of the earth to be blessed.

This particular promise is according to the word sworn by Yahweh Himself. But when has the descendant of Abraham conquered his enemies?

Those who spiritualise this promise to make Christianity the 'seed' also have a problem. It says quite specifically all the nations should be blessed. There is no way Christianity as it is now is a blessing to all the nations. It must be concluded that we are waiting still for the time when all nations will be blessed.

The Bible says when this will be. It is when Abraham walks again in the land that was called Canaan. When he is alive again, and alive for evermore.

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