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. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Children have a way of getting underfoot as dinner is being prepared. Sometimes parents feel like shouting, “Listen, why don’t all of you get out of the kitchen? Just go!”
At the Tower of Babel, the people did more than get underfoot; they turned their backs on God. Determined to have their own kingdom, they built their tower and tried to reach up to the heavens to see what they could do by their own might. As a result of this rebellion, God brought judgment by diversifying their languages and scattering them all over the world (Genesis 11:1-9).
Being far more justified than an exasperated parent, God could have sent the people away and been done with them. But He didn’t.
To demonstrate His grace, in the very next generation God began to repair what was broken. He spoke to a childless, elderly pagan man named Abram, whose name ironically meant “exalted father,” and He promised to reverse the effect of His judgment at Babel. People there had aimed to make their name great. God would make Abram’s great. They had sought to build their own kingdom. God would make Abram’s people a great nation. They had planned to find blessing in a world without God. God would bring blessing to the earth through Abram’s family. Sin would be unwound and its effects undone by God’s intervening grace.
In this very covenant God took Abram and made him Abraham, “the father of a multitude,” as He promised to extend His grace to this chosen servant and to future generations scattered throughout the earth.
God’s promise to Abraham is an early expression of the gospel promise. He made a promise to Abraham, and Abraham’s descendants later received the blessing. They would eventually realize, though, that the promise and blessing encompass all who believe in Jesus: “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith … And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:26, 29). So, while the promises that God made to Abraham were partially fulfilled in the Old Testament nation of Israel, they were ultimately fulfilled in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in His people.
Catch just a tiny glimpse of the immensity of this fulfillment and your life will be forever changed. If you are in Christ today, the promise that God made to Abraham has your name on it. You are a citizen of heaven and serve a King descended from Abraham called Jesus. What God began as He spoke to Abram has come to encompass you as God calls people back into His kingdom, to enjoy Him face-to-face forever. Whatever else is true of you today, by faith you are a child of God, a member of Abraham’s people, and an heir to these glorious promises.
Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,