Trusting in God’s Promise

KEY VERSE: “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” —Genesis 12:2

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-18

WHEN ABRAHAM WAS told by God to leave the city of Ur and go into a land which he would show to him—which was the land of Canaan—he obeyed. He left Ur, taking with him his elderly father—Terah, and other friends and family members, who comprised a large party which followed the Euphrates River north to Haran. At Haran his father died. Once again God spoke to Abraham, telling him that he should continue toward the Promised Land.

It was then that God spoke to Abraham using the words of our Key Text. God continued, saying, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (vs. 3) This is the first record in the Scriptures of the Abrahamic promise. It is also known as the Gospel, or ‘good news’. Paul called it this, when he said, “God … preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.”—Gal. 3:8

Abraham had complete faith in God’s wonderful promise, and because of his great trust, righteousness was imputed unto him. Paul said: “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.”

Abraham had every reason to wonder how and when God would fulfill his promise. First of all, his wife, Sarah, was far beyond the child-bearing age. Second, we are told that Abraham’s body was also “dead” in this respect. (Rom. 4:19) And, third, years passed by, and no child was born to them. Many experiences befell Abraham when he reached the land of Canaan, but none of these directly affected the fulfillment of God’s promise.

On several occasions as the years rolled on, God reaffirmed the Abrahamic promise. As Abraham approached the age of 85, he prayed to the Lord suggesting that the faithful steward of his house, whom he loved and trusted as much as a dear son, be made his heir. But God answered: “This [Eliezer] shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”—Gen. 15:4-6

Having faith in God’s promises is of prime importance to all who would please the Lord in any age. “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6) Abraham set us a marvelous example to emulate. That is why the Bible calls him ‘the father of the faithful’.—Rom. 4:16

There are not now, nor have there ever been, many people who have had the faith of Abraham—who truly believe that God will fulfill his promise to bless all the families of the earth. Those who do believe know that God’s promise will require the resurrection of each one of mankind from the dead, making possible the fulfillment of the promise that every man will be blessed—a thing which seems impossible since so many millennia have passed and the promise remains unfulfilled. But those who do believe, and are Abraham’s ‘children’, having inherited his faith, know that God’s promise is sure. Each day they pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |