Blessing the Nations

David Bast

Read: Genesis 12:1-3

In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (v. 12)

There’s a little poem that goes

How odd of God

To choose the Jews.

We could say the same of God’s choice of Abraham. What made Abraham so special? As far as we know, he was just a guy living in Mesopotamia, like any other guy living anywhere else in the world. But then God revealed himself to Abraham and invited him to step out by faith on a journey to an undisclosed location. So why did God choose him?

Perhaps because he had to start somewhere, and Abraham was as good a place as any. God was on a mission to redeem his broken world and reclaim his wandering children. He began with a single family, but from the beginning it wouldn’t be about just that family, or even about their physical descendants. Right from the start God had the endgame in view. He will use Abraham and his family to bless all the families of the earth by producing from them a Messiah who will do what is needed to offer salvation to the whole world.

God made two promises to Abraham: offspring and a land (v. 7). Both were fulfilled literally, in the land of Canaan and people of Israel. But the ultimate fulfillment of both promises is spiritual. Abraham’s true homeland was heaven (Heb. 11:13 16), and we are his true descendants (Rom. 4:11 16)–all those who are justified by faith like Abraham.

—David Bast

Father, bless me to be a blessing to others.