All Nations will be Blessed

by Katelyn Wilson

Day 4 of Advent

Today's Reading

Genesis 12

Imagine God telling you to go, and He would bring great blessing. There is one caveat, though: the destination is unknown.

This is what we find in Genesis 12. God calls Abram to be obedient, but God only gives him step one. “Leave everything you know and go. I will be your guide. I will be your map.” What a scary thought! There was no location. There was no plan to let Abram know what he was signing up for. All he knew was he had to trust God. And Abram obeyed. 

Very little is said about Abram before he is called.  We know he is from Ur of the Chaldeans, and he lives in Haran. Other than that, we do not get to see a glimpse into what he was like before God’s call or why God chose him, but as we get to chapter 12, it becomes very evident that his background is not what matters. It’s his obedience.

Outlined in the first three verses, God promises Abram that he would be a great nation, he would be a blessing, those who blessed him would be blessed, those who dishonored him would be cursed, and through Abram, all the nations of the world would be blessed.

Think about the impact that this call has on Abram’s life and the lives of those around him. He will now become a great nation. He will bring great blessings to those around him. But the most significant impact is that through his offspring, all the nations of the world would be blessed.

At the time, he did not know what that would mean, but Abram’s humble obedience to God’s call means we are allowed to partake in a great blessing today.

Abram’s offspring would hold onto this promise for generations before they would see the fulfillment of the covenant God made with Abram. In the waiting, God continued to remind Abram’s offspring of this exceptional promise. Throughout Abram’s lifetime alone, God reminds him of the covenant He made in Genesis 12 five times (Gen. 13:14-18; 15:4-5, 13-18; 17:1-8; 18:17-19; 22:15-18).

But even after Abram’s death, God reiterates the promise to Abram’s offspring, Isaac and Jacob (Gen. 26:4, 23-24; 28:14-15; 35:9-12). This continual reminder gave them hope as they waited for God to fulfill His promise to make a way for all nations to be blessed through His Son.

Finally, Matthew 1 and Luke 3 show the promise fulfilled. As we look at the genealogy of Jesus, we see that it was through Abram that Jesus came into the world. The greatest blessing came from a promise made generations ago in Genesis 12 as God vowed that through Abram, all the nations of the world would be blessed.

So what did God mean when He told Abram that "in you all the families of the world will be blessed" (Gen. 12:3)? God was promising salvation and an eternity with Him for all people.

In this season, we are focused on the coming of Jesus as an infant. We also see the blessing that came through His life and death so that we might have the gift of salvation and a relationship with the Creator of the universe.

Just as Abram was obedient, Jesus came to earth and was obedient, even to death. The impacts of Abram’s obedience were significant, but Jesus’ obedience was ultimate. And the result of His obedience was a tremendous blessing.

From the moment Jesus came to earth, the world was blessed. Jesus blessed the shepherds and wise men we hear about at Christmas time. Jesus brought blessings to the Jewish leaders in the temple. Again and again, Jesus brought blessings to those He spoke to and healed. But none of these blessings can compare to those He brought through His death and resurrection. Because of Jesus’ obedience, we can spend eternity with God.

God chose Abram as the vessel through which this immense blessing would come, but Abram would not know in his lifetime the effects of his obedience to go where God called Him. The call led to the blessing of the nations through the sacrificial gift of God’s own Son, Jesus.

Abram obeyed without knowing the plan. Do we let the lack of a plan determine our obedience and trust? Are we willing to do whatever God has asked of us, trusting that He will guide our steps?

As we prepare our hearts in this Advent season, reflect on the gift that came because of Abram’s humble obedience to answer God’s call, and the salvation that Jesus brought through his life, death, and resurrection.