God’s Promise Fulfilled

KEY VERSE: “Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.” —Genesis 21:2


WHEN ISAAC WAS born, it was a truly joyous occasion. Sarah said, “God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me, and she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Gen. 21:6,7) Isaac was circumcised when he was eight days old, and was a fine, healthy child.

Now that Isaac was born, how confident Abraham must have been that he would indeed be the head of a nation, with a seed through which all other nations would be blessed! The Apostle Paul tells us that Abraham “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Heb. 11:10) So far as the record indicates, God had said nothing to Abraham about a ‘city’. However, a city is used in the Scriptures to symbolize a government, and Abraham evidently interpreted from what the Lord told him, that his seed would constitute a government—a kingdom—which would exercise control over all other nations and be God’s channel of blessing to them.

‘Nations’ in those days were frequently just families, with one of the family serving as tribal head, or king. Naturally, they grew larger through the centuries; but in the early days of Abraham nations were very small. The promise that he was to have a seed that would become a great nation and dominate other nations would therefore imply that his offspring would become more powerful than the others, or, as Paul states it, a city—a city which would have foundations—sure foundations, because its builder and maker was God.

But God had a much grander and more far-reaching plan in mind than that visualized by Abraham. This is revealed to us by the many references to the seed of Abraham which we find in the New Testament. In Galatians 3:8,16, Paul mentions the promise concerning the seed, and explains it in such a way as to indicate that even Isaac, the miracle child, was not the real seed of promise. In verse 16 Paul explains that when God made the promise to Abraham of a seed, the one he had in mind was, in reality, Christ.

The city to which Abraham saw his seed related, is revealed in God’s Word to be the Christ. Following the references to this ‘city’ throughout the Scriptures, we find that it eventually comes down from above—from its spiritual or heavenly position—to rule over the earth. Revelation 21:2 reads: “I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven.”

As John saw in vision, a “new heaven and a new earth” were closely associated with the ‘holy city’. (vss. 1,2) This is in keeping with Isaiah’s words: “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”—Isa. 65:17-19

In Isaiah’s prophecy, as a result of the creation of the ‘new heavens and a new earth’, and the ‘rejoicing’ Jerusalem, length of life is seen to increase, and the people “long enjoy the work of their hands.” (Isa. 65:22) Peter referred to this promise of a new heavens and a new earth, and said that therein will dwell “righteousness.” (II Pet. 3:13) Sin and unrighteousness led to death. Righteousness will lead to life; so, as shown in John’s vision, as a result of the coming into power of the Holy City, the new heavens and the new earth, “there shall be no more death,” for “the former things are passed away.”—Rev. 21:4

Dawn Bible Students Association
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