Saturday, June 20, 2020

Verse off the Week: Genesis 12:3

Verse off the Week: Genesis 12:3

                And I will bless those who bless you;
                                And the one who curses you I will curse.
                                And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Genesis 12:3

And I will bless those who bless you;
                                And the one who curses you I will curse.
                                And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Genesis 12:3

And I- Complete sovereignty. If a nation or a person experiences blessing because of their attitude towards Israel and the Jewish people God is responsible for that blessing.

Bless…curse- Abraham’s relation to God was so close that to bless or curse him was, in effect, to bless or curse God. This remains true today and is a root reason for the decline and death of many empires. Barnhouse writes:

“When the Greeks overran Palestine (Israel) and desecrated the altar in the Jewish temple, they were soon conquered by Rome. When Rome killed Paul and many others, and destroyed Jerusalem under Titus, Rome soon fell. Spain was reduced to a fifth-rate nation after the Inquisition against the Jews; Poland fell after the pogroms; Hitler’s Germany went down after its orgies of ant-Semitism; Britain lost her empire when she broke her faith with Israel.”

Why has America been so blessed? Because of her treatment of the Jews. Because of the lack, though not totally, of anti-Semitism in American and their embrace of Jewish people God has blessed the nation. The United States was of the first modern nations to grant full citizenship and protection to Jewish people.

Will bless- So intimately is God concerned in having men take the proper attitude toward this prophet and servant of His that whoever wishes him well God will bless. God is so concerned with Abraham and the covenant people that whoever wishes them blessings will cause God to do well to them. Man wishes good, God imparts good.

Those- There will be many who cross Abraham’s path that will wish him well.
God’s promise to bless others because of Abraham was not an opportunity for Abraham to demonstrate how great he was. This was given to Abraham to that through God he might help others. His high regard by God would be a great motivator for him in this actions and care of others.

When we think of the Church today, we forget that the reason God has given us blessings not for our own personal comfort and enjoyment. We have a great privilege today to be the carriers of His Word. Only we have been commanded to go into the whole world and present the gospel of Jesus Christ to a dying world. But we have a great responsibility to make this proclamation. We encounter many people from all walks of life and it is our duty to bring them the Word.

Who bless you- This is a promise for those who do good to Abraham and to his posterity.

The one- divine grace presupposes that there will not be many that wish this friend of God ill.  

Who curses you- The Hebrew uses two words for curse-

1.       ‘arar God’s judicial cursing. Other related words to ‘arar include “lie in wait, lion, to ambush.” Many of the nations would wait, they were more powerful and could attack when they wanted. They did not have anything to fear from little Israel and could use them as they wished. When they would attack, they would discover Israel pouncing like a lion. The Six-Day War was such a case. God is there to protect those who would curse Israel and protect them at all times.

2.       Galal for man’s injudicious or blasphemous cursing that will lead to being humbled, made little, humiliated, or diminished.  This is what we would see in what happened to Nazi Germany in World War II. Because of the persecution of the Jews they not only lost their territory but they were conquered and their homeland was split in two.

This is the person who degrades or despises Abraham and his posterity. Those who would curse Abraham would in this act reveal their insensitivity to God. By acting in such a manner, they demonstrate a conspicuous absence of love and honor to God. Because of these actions they will find themselves the objects of God’s wrath.

The idea conveyed here is that to curse Abraham is almost the equivalent of cursing God.

Curse- This is God’s judicial curse and would affect anyone who would treat him lightly.

In you- Not only was Abraham promised blessing from God, God also promised that Abraham would become a blessing. This promised blessing was not for the Jewish nation only but for the entire scope of mankind.

All the families- Jew and Gentile, who will be blessed by Abraham and his seed. This blessing is so great that it will extend to the entire earth.

This is the first allusion to the fact that blessing would not be limited to just the Jewish nation. God had a plan for all people who were born into the world. This should lead them to a realization that this first was given to the Jewish nation and then spread out to the Gentile population.

History is the outworking of this covenant through the nation of Israel. What we read about what God’s actions through Abraham will seep through mankind.

Martin Luther wrote concerning this promise that “in your all the families shall be blessed” should be written:

“…in golden letters and should be extolled in the languages of all the people…” for “who else…has dispensed this blessing among all nations except the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ?”

Even in the darkest times on planet Earth we see the promise of Gentiles being blessed by this promise in the Tribulation:

                                And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy art Thou to take the book and to bread its seals; for Thou wast slain and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9

And then in the midst of the most horrible time to be a believer:

After these things I looked and behold, a great multitude,[1] which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; Revelation 7:9

Of the earth- The justification of uncircumcised Gentiles was anticipated in the universal aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant.

Shall be blessed- When we look at the blessing that God has given, what do we find that has affected all that have ever lived? Only the promises of the coming Messiah. When Abraham was given this promise very little was known of the coming Messiah. Over the centuries more would be added to the Messianic prophecies. This word is definitely Messianic and determines that the Messiah is to emerge from the line of Abraham, through Isaac, through Jacob, through the tribe of Judah.

When the time was right, according to God’s promise, this promise was fulfilled in the coming of Abraham’s seed, Jesus Christ:

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” Galatians 3:8
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.[2] He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. Galatians 3:16

This promise takes on its greatest fulfillment in the fact that Jesus Christ became the means of blessing to the world.

[1] A great multitude- This multitude is composed of many racial and geographic groups who will be redeemed during the tribulation period (v. 14). In these difficult days, many will find Christ as Savior.
[2] Seed- Since Paul’s argument here is based on the singular form of the word in the Old Testament (Genesis 22:17, 18), he must have believed in the accuracy of the very words of Scripture.

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2 Peter 2:14-22