Covenant Promises Through Christ’s Provision

I should have posted these a long time ago.  There are 6 promises God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 that belong to the church, the community of those who are in Christ.  I have the verses and quotes below on a card in my wallet.  Every now and then I read through these to remind myself of the covenant promises on which God’s people can stand in blessed fellowship with God and because of which we can sacrificially serve as a blessing to our neighbors, the nations, and the next generation.  These promises belong to those who have by faith embraced Christ’s provision as our own.  Such unbelievable “great and precious promises” might tempt you to say “no way!”  But the truth is all of these promises are “Yes!” in Christ and belong to those who belong to Him.

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. And 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.”

Genesis 12:1-3

The promises of God are so many and varied, yet they all fall nicely under one of the six promises made to Abraham, all of which are fulfilled in our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ…until we begin to notice, meditate on, claim for ourselves, and act in our daily experience on those exceedingly great and precious promises of God’s covenant, we shall never know more than the most meager morsel of the full and abundant life we have in Christ.

T. M. Moore in I Will Be Your God, page 27

1. “I will make of you a great nation”

Abram is first promised that God will make of him a great people.  Here we must think in strictly numerical terms…Abram was motivated by the promise of becoming a great nation to follow God to an unknown, distant land in the belief that there, in His way and time, God would raise up a mighty people who would trace their origins to him.  (I Will Be Your God, page 18)

2. “I will bless you”

Next, God promised to bless Abram in ways far beyond any temporal prospect held out by his continuing in Ur…something far beyond temporal enjoyments was in view here.  The root of the word “bless”…refers to the knees…it seems clear that God was saying He would establish the patriarch in a special relationship with Himself, one characterized by his “being on his knees” before the sovereign God.  In such a posture he would be ready to hear and able to receive good things from his covenant God…Abram would have access to the presence of God, would live before Him in a posture of worship and service, and would receive from Him unknown but wonderful blessings as a result.  (I Will Be Your God, pp. 18-19)

3. “I will…make your name great”

God also promised to make Abram’s name great.  He would be a man of influence, a man to be reckoned with by neighbors and remembered by posterity.  His words would matter, and his testimony would carry great weight…Abram could see himself as a man to whom others would look for guidance, one to whom they would defer in important issues and whom, because of their respect for him, they would treat with fairness in all matters…Filled with the hope of this promise, Abram would begin to live as one who expected to be a noteworthy person among his contemporaries, and whose name would exert influence for generations to come.  (I Will Be Your God, page 19)

4. “so that you will be a blessing”

God promised to make Abram a blessing to others…In his mind this must have registered that Abram would be a source of good to his neighbors, a means to their help, guidance, and prosperity.  But more than this, God seems to have been suggesting that, through Abram, others would be able to come into that special relationship with God that he himself enjoyed…He would be a channel of blessing, a conduit of grace to the nations, God’s chosen vessel for spreading the knowledge of God abroad among the peoples of the earth.  (I Will Be Your God, pages 19-20)

5. “I will bless those who bless you…him who dishonors you I will curse”

God promised to protect and provide for Abram in sovereign and efficient ways…He would bless the peoples who blessed Abram, who allowed themselves to be God’s means of enriching and providing for him; and He would curse with trouble and calamity those who looked askance at the patriarch and sought his downfall…[Abram] believed God would take care of him, would fill his life with good things and keep him out of-or preserve him in the midst of-harm’s way. (I Will Be Your God, page 20)

6. “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed”

Through Abram God promised to extend His blessing to “all the families of the earth.”  This must have registered in both geographical and historical terms to Abram.  God, who was making such exceedingly great and precious promises to an unworthy man such as he, would do the same for all people, both those living and those yet to come.  That Abraham was careful to pass these promises on to his own son indicates that he expected God to fulfill His promises to the generations to come.  His own reach to “all the families of the earth” was strictly minimal; through his offspring it would continue until the blessings of God covered the earth.  (I Will Be Your God, page 20)

For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him.

That is why it is through Him that we utter our 

Amen to God for His glory.

2 Corinthians 1:20

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