GOD’S CALL AND PROMISE TO ABRAHAM
The first three verses give us the threefold promise of God to Abraham (Abram), and actually this is the hub of the Bible. The rest of Scripture is an unfolding of this threefold promise.
The first of the threefold promise is the land. God says, “I am going to show you a land, and I am going to give it to you.”
The second part of the promise is the nation—”I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great.” He also promises him, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.”
The third part of the promise is that He would make him a blessing: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” This is God’s threefold promise.
Genesis 12:1-3 KJV
 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.
- As in the days of Noah, God chooses to break the cycle of rebellion by working through an individual: Abram. He is to leave the post-Babel population centers and journey to a new land of promise.
- As with Noah following the flood (Genesis 9:8–17), Abram’s commission emphasizes God’s ongoing plan to re-create people as a way of preserving a faithful “seed” that will undo the work of Satan (3:15). Also as with Noah, God accomplishes this purpose by entering into a covenant, or contract, with an individual of outstanding faithfulness, someone who will pass the promise through the line of his descendants.
- God’s covenant with Abram is patterned after ancient suzerain-vassal treaties. In these arrangements, a great king declared sovereignty over a weaker subject king and demanded absolute loyalty in exchange for military protection and overall security. The terms of these agreements could be extended across generations, provided that the vassal king’s heirs agreed to fulfill the conditions of obedience. Covenants of this kind were typical of ancient empires such as Egypt and Assyria, which ruled vast regions through local client kings.
- In the present case, the supreme sovereign, God, offers a local tribal leader, Abram, blessings in exchange for obedience to God’s unilateral terms. These terms in the verse before us are that Abram must leave everything—including his country, his kindred (ethnic/tribal group), and even some of his more immediate relatives (his father’s house)—and undertake a journey to an unspecified location. God’s terms suggest that this is a permanent migration; there is no indication that Abram will ever return to his homeland.
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.
- God continues by stating the benefits of the covenant. First, the promise that God will produce through Abram a great nation means that Abram will have many descendants. Moreover, they will form a distinct and influential people group (see also Genesis 15:5; 17:2–4). This aspect of God’s promise is notable in that Abram’s wife, Sarai, has been unable to conceive children to this point in time (11:30). This problem will become a driving theme in Abram’s story (15:1–8; 16:1–6; 17:15–18; 18:9–15).
- The benefits of the covenant require supernatural intervention, a reality that will further demonstrate God’s power to fulfill His plans and purposes. The term great nation further implies what will be stated explicitly later: Abram is leaving his current homeland to occupy a new territory, Canaan, which will belong to his descendants (Genesis 12:7; 13:14–17; 15:7; 17:8).
- The remaining benefits to Abram emerge from the first. I will bless thee stresses the divine protection Abram will enjoy as he travels and as his influence expands. Further, even though he has no children as of yet, the size of Abram’s clan will expand his reputation and renown (thy name great) dramatically.
- Abram and his descendants will also bless others, not only in the political and economic sense but also, and more particularly, through their witness to the faithfulness of the one true God.
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
- More benefits that will proceed from God’s covenant are revealed. The first implies that God will relate to other nations as those nations choose to relate to the nation that is to come from Abram. Those who ally themselves with God’s people will be rewarded for doing so, but those who stand in opposition will be fighting against God. Such language is again typical of suzerain treaties, where the great king pledges to send aid and military support to defend the vassal king’s homeland.
- Another benefit reflects God’s ultimate purpose: all people groups will ultimately be blessed somehow. What is unknown to Abram is known to us: that blessing is Christ (see Acts 3:25, 26; Galatians 3:8). Abram’s descendants will thus serve to fulfill God’s original plan to create a world that Satan cannot destroy (Genesis 3:15; 6:18; 9:1, 9).
I hope that you have really enjoyed this post,
Please Leave All Comments in the Comment Box Below ↓