Tag Archive for God’s promises

Abraham: God’s Promises

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Genesis 12:1-7

God blesses His people. The same sovereign God who spoke the universe into existence also speaks all His best into the lives of those who trust Him.

There is no better example of that blessing than the story of Abraham. Read it all in Genesis 11:26 – 25:11.

According to Genesis 11, Abraham was the ninth generation after Shem, the son of Noah. When the Bible first introduces him, his name is still Abram (meaning, “the father is exalted”), and he is part of his father Terah’s household in Ur of the Chaldeans (in present-day Iraq). He moves with his father to Haran (in present-day Turkey), and there his father dies.

There also the Lord speaks to Abram, asking him to follow Him to a land He will show him. If Abram obeys, God promises him a number of magnificent blessings:

  • God will make him a great nation.
  • God will both bless him and make him a blessing. In fact, all the families of the earth will be blessed through him.
  • God will bless those who bless Abram, and curse those who curse him.

One might think that one so richly blessed by the Sovereign God would have an easy life. And indeed, God does lavish great material wealth on Abram. But like us, Abram was called to trust a God whose plan is sometimes mysterious and whose sense of timing is far different than our own.

  • The man who was to have descendants numerous as the stars of the heaven and the sand of the sea had no heir until he was 100 years old.
  • Though God had promised him that his heirs would possess the land of Canaan, Abram lived his entire life as nomad, living in tents, owning no land but a small burial plot.
  • Though God promised to stand up for Abram in all his disputes (blessing those who blessed him, cursing those who cursed him), the disputes and dangers just kept coming.

The God who blesses us does not promise a life of ease, but a journey of faith. That journey has a wonderful end for those who patiently endure.

The Christ of Advent

No matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.
(2 Corinthians 1:20, NIV)

Think of our God, unlimited by time and place,
Everywhere and all eternity are the domain in which He dwells.
He is complete and perfect, so He does not change.
His Word is sovereign.
All reality responds to His will.
He speaks, and it is so.

For this God, His eternal purposes are certain and complete.
They are not future possibilities.
They are present reality.

But we are small and fearful, bound by time, creatures of the now.
We see only ourselves and our tiny sliver of all that is.
God’s greatest blessings are too vast, too broad in time.
We cannot trace His love and all its magnificent ways.

But our loving Father longs to wrap us in the beautiful certainty of
all He is and all He does.
So He makes promises that let us glimpse His love beyond our now.
His promises assure us of unchanging truth, that
God will always be who He has always been;
He will always do what He has always done; and
He will complete all He has started.

God’s promises are not empty words, rosy wishes, or mere intention.
God’s promises describe eternal reality.

And now, God’s promises are a Person, a living, human, divine Person
who embodies all God has done and all He is doing for His children.

During Advent, look to Jesus.
He is the Promise of the Father.
As He is, we will be.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Promise
Printed Music & Lyrics