Advent: December 4th
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)
Here we have the promise God gave to Abraham that someday, and in some way, he would be a blessing to all nations of the earth. What is interesting about the call of Abraham out of the land of Ur is that Abraham is a pagan from a pagan family within a pagan culture. This is clear from Joshua 24:2 which says, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods.” Not only that, but Abraham has two other brothers, Nahor and Haran, so then why does God call Abraham out of Ur and then enter an eternal covenant relationship with him and his descendants? Grace. Pure unmerited grace. In that covenant, he says to Abraham that he would make his name great and that somehow he would be a blessing to all nations. Fast forward 2,000 years later to Galatians 3:8-9 and the apostle Paul writes, “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’ So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” The promise given to Abraham was the promise of a Messiah who would be born in Bethlehem. Because of that event God has truly made for Abraham a great name. If it were not for the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ, no one would have ever heard of Abraham. Additionally, through Mary, who is a physical descendant of Abraham, Abraham has become a blessing to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles as the gospel of Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God, has exploded beyond the borders of Israel. During Advent season, throughout the month of December, we celebrate the promise fulfilled that was given to Abraham 4,000 years ago. Christ, the son of God, born in Bethlehem, lain in a Manger, is the promise of light and hope to the world.
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