God’s Promises to Father Abraham and his Children Israel –And Us!
Abraham lived about 2,000 B.C. in the town of Ur, which was in the land we now call Iraq. The people of ancient Ur worshipped idols and knew nothing of God. One day God spoke to Abraham. In Genesis 12:1 we read that God told Abraham to leave his home and his relatives and everything he had known and travel to an unknown land far away. He was to trust God to lead him there. Abraham wasn’t given a map or any directions of how to get to this land. But Scripture says that Abraham believed God and obeyed. Abraham “went out not knowing whither he went.” Hebrews 11:8.
Traveling back then was difficult and dangerous. Abraham left his comfortable home with his wife Sarah and along with relatives, servants and flocks he followed Gods’ leading some 800 miles across the endless desert to the land God had promised him, - Israel. Now isn’t that faith?
God was pleased that Abraham trusted Him and God made some promises to him. “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless, thee, and make thy name great: and thou shall be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.! Gen. 22:18. Genesis 12:2 and 3, and “All the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth.” Genesis 13:15-16. And again in Genesis 17:8: “Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” Did you notice that God promised this special land to Abraham and to his children for ever?
Abraham believed Gods’ promises even though he didn’t understand their full meaning. Even though Abraham was a sinner God was pleased with him because of his faith. We read, “He (Abraham) believed in the Lord: and He (God) counted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6.
God had made promises to Abraham that his children would become a nation that would bless the earth and as always Abraham had believed God. But God tested Abrahams’ faith and as the years passed by, still Abraham and Sarah had no children. Old age was setting in and Sarah was past the age to bear a child. And as always Abraham waited and believed that God would keep His promise. Finally when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90, God gave them their promised child, Isaac. Abraham was even willing later to offer up his special son Isaac to God when God tested him, because he trusted that God would bring Isaac back from death. There wasn’t anything that Abraham would hold back from God. Throughout his life Abraham consistently exhibited his faith in God.
God made a covenant with Abraham concerning these promises (Genesis 15:8-18) and continued repeating His promises later to Isaac and then to Jacob. These special promises were to be given only through Abrahams’ son Isaac. Hebrews 11:18-19. God made other provisions and blessed and set aside land for Ishmael. (Genesis 21:12-13) And God kept repeating these promises down through the generations through Israel’s prophets. These promises from God to Israel were recorded again and again in the Bible.
All of these promises were made a long time ago and at first they don’t seem to matter very much to us today. But Matthew 1:1 reads: “Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Jesus was also the promised Son of Abraham. Galatians 3:16 says: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many: but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” The promises that God made to Abraham were made to Christ. Ezekiel 39:27-29 describes how God will bring Israel back to their land from where they have been among the nations and pour His Spirit on them and be their God. More Bible prophecies concerning those original promises to Abraham tell us that Jesus will come back and set up His kingdom in the Promised Land with His people Israel.
One of Abrahams’ promises from God was that Israel would become a nation and would bless all of the nations of the earth. We Christians have been blessed with salvation through Jesus Christ, Israel’s Messiah. Our Bible is Jewish, our Savior was born Jewish, even our Christian faith is Jewish. We have definitely been blessed by Abrahams’ Seed.
In fact, Scripture tells us that if we have faith in Christ Jesus we are also sons of Abraham and have inherited the wonderful promises that God gave Abrahams’ children, Israel. We have been given these promises through Christ. Galatians 3:26&29 reads: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. … and if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” So we along with the Jews have inherited the promises made to Abraham, and we are also considered “sons of Abraham!” Since Abraham believed God, all of us who also follow in his footsteps and believe God are his “sons”. There is an old gospel hymn that goes something like this: “Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them and so are you. So let’s just praise the Lord.”
Since Scripture says that God makes us sons of Abraham through Christ because of our faith, do we have anywhere near the faith in God that Abraham had? Will we leave our comforts like Abraham did and follow God anywhere not knowing where He is taking us? Can we keep believing God like Abraham did when he had to wait decades into his old age for his promised son? Would we be willing to offer up our most precious possession to God like Abraham did? God was very pleased with Abrahams’ faith. Is He pleased with our faith? Philippians 4:19 tells believers in Jesus: “My God shall supply all of your needs, according to His riches in Glory.” It appears that God is giving us the same sure promises and blessings that He gave Abraham. Let’s try to give God back that same believing faith that our father Abraham had. Scripture says that God was very pleased with Abrahams’ faith. Let’s follow in Abrahams’ footsteps and also exhibit a faith that pleases God. It’s the most important thing that we can do.