Day 4

Blessing for All People, Come

from the reading plan

Genesis 15:1-6, Genesis 17:1-8, Genesis 17:15-21, John 8:31-59, Galatians 3:7-9, Galatians 3:14-16, Galatians 3:27-29

“Once upon a time, there was an ancient Near Eastern man named Abraham. God told him to leave his family and go to a land that God would show to him, and Abraham went. God also told Abraham that He would make him into a great nation and all the people on earth would be blessed through Abraham, and Abraham said, ‘That sounds good.’ He and his wife Sarah had lots of children with no trouble at all, and everything was smooth sailing from then on…”

Of course, that’s not how it happened. Abraham and Sarah were childless for a long time, in spite of God’s promise that Abraham would have descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. Abraham believed it, and it was “credited to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). But then Sarah convinced him to try and help the plan along by conceiving a child with Hagar, Sarah’s slave. God appeared to Abraham again afterward to promise that Sarah would indeed have a son and that the sign of God’s covenant with Abraham’s descendants would be circumcision.

Abraham’s experience is a good one to remember for all of us who have experienced disappointment and asked God at one time or another, “How will you do the thing you promised? How will you make a way when it seems like there is no way?” Abraham thought God would act in a particular way, but he, and all the world, ended up being blessed in a way Abraham didn’t foresee.  

When Jesus appeared on the scene, He said to some of the Jews who had chosen to follow Him, “If you were Abraham’s children…you would do what Abraham did” (John 8:39). They thought they knew who Abraham’s children were, but they didn’t. They were so narrowly focused on the external signs of God’s covenant with Abraham that they missed what God Himself was doing. Yet even when Paul was writing his letters, there were some Jewish Christians who thought that you still had to be circumcised to be part of God’s people. Paul argued that it is those who have faith who are Abraham’s sons (Galatians 3:7), not those who have the external sign of the covenant, circumcision. The promise God made to Abraham and his seed is fulfilled in Jesus. 

Living in the middle of the story, we navigate unexpected outcomes and promises that look like they’ll go unfulfilled. Who could have guessed that the nations would be blessed through the birth of a little baby? And who could have guessed that God would pour out His Spirit on those who seemed so far from Him and one another? Our task is to believe that God has shown and will continue to show His faithfulness, even in a way we might not expect. Jesus, the blessing for all people, has come. And, by faith, we believe He will come again.

Post Comments (1)

One thought on "Blessing for All People, Come"

  1. BettyJean Hart says:

    Good reminders, Elliot . Sometimes faith needs to be longterm, but God is always there.

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