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June 10, 2015

DEVOTIONAL – JUNE 11

by Leslie John

OUR BLESSINGS IN ABRAHAM

Leslie M. John

Introduction:

Terah ‘s sons were Abram, whose name was changed by God as “Abraham”, and other two sons were Nahor and Haran.

Israel came into existence from the seed of Abraham. After Jacob was named as Israel as a consequence of blessings he received his posterity was called “Israel” and all others were called “Gentiles”. Many years later after Solomon’s death Israel was divided into two regions. One was the “House of Israel’ ruled by Jeroboam and other was “the House of Judah” ruled by Rehoboam.

Much of what we read in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, is all about God’s dealing with Israel, the division of Israel into two, and God’s promise to unite them. God did not leave Gentiles aside. In due course of time God made Gentiles partakers of the Natural Olive Tree, the description of which can read in Jeremiah Chapter 11:16-17, Romans Chapters 9-11, Ephesians Chapter 3 and Galatians Chapter 3

Lot was the son of Haran who died in the land of Ur of Chaldees, before Terah died. Abram and Nahor took them wives. Abram’s wife was Sarai and Nahor’s wife was Milcah, who was the daughter of Haran. Terah went from Ur of Chaldees into the land of Canaan. He took with him Abram, his son, and Lot, the son of Haran, and Sarai, his daughter-in-law (Genesis 11:27-32). Abraham’s son was Isaac and Isaac’s son was Jacob. Jacob and his descendants are called “Israel”. Chaldees was a region where heathen lived.

 Abraham Obeyed:

God said to Abram to leave the country, his relatives, his father’s house and go to a land that He promised to give. God promised Abram that He will make Abram a great nation, bless him, and make his name great and that Abram will be a blessing to others. God said that whoever blesses Abram will be blessed and whoever curses Abram will be cursed.

It was a great blessing that was given to Abraham. God said to Abraham “…in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”. This is a very important blessing that should be taken note of. Abram believed and left his country along with his cousin’s son, Lot and went to Canaan. While they were passing from Siechem to the plain of Moreh, God visited them and said that that land will be given to his posterity.

Abram built an altar there for God. In the course of time as there was severe famine Abram went down to Egypt (Genesis 12:1-10). After having a bad experience in Egypt with the Pharaoh, who was punished by God, Abram moved with his wife and also Lot out of Egypt into the south.

“So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran”. (Genesis 12:4)

Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver and gold. He moved further down to the place where he built an altar earlier and called on the name of the Lord. (Genesis 13:1-4)

 Abraham’s Faith:

It indeed takes great deal of faith and courage to trust in God. Abraham believed God without raising any doubt. God promised Abraham blessings. Abraham moved from place to place honoring God. Abram obeyed God and did everything just as God told him to do.

In all these Abram believed God without any doubt and it was counted to him as righteousness. Abram did not need to do anything other than trusting in God and go ahead in the paths ordered by God, and he obeyed God with faith. God honored his faith.

The faith Abram had on God, his obedience and honoring God need to be taken note of to see if we have such unflinching faith in God and obey him honoring him. In the New Testament as Apostle Paul and Stephen relate to the faith of Abram, who was later called “Abraham” by God, we clearly see the blessing of Abraham that we are bestowed with.

God said to Abram that in him all nations will be blessed. This blessing was given to him before the Mosaic Law came into existence. Moses came many years later, and had the blessings and covenants from God of Israel. What is interesting is that even before Israel was blessed with blessings and covenants Abram was blessed and in him all nations were blessed.

It was Abraham’s unflinching faith that fetched him the honor of being reckoned as righteous. It is that kind of faith God expects us to have that we may be counted as righteous. In addition, those who believe in Jesus are made partakers of blessings and covenants of Jews (Ephesians Ch. 3:6).

 The Blessing of Abraham:

When we consider this we stand in awe of God and glorify His name for blessing us with spiritual blessing inherited from Abraham. It is the promise of the Father that at the very moment we repent Holy Spirit indwells us. Jesus said that after ascending into heaven he would send the Promise of the Father and as promised the Holy Spirit came into this world to be our Comforter.

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high”. (Luke 24:49)

This giving of the Promise of the Father was fulfilled when his disciples were waiting at Jerusalem according to the instructions Lord Jesus gave them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4)

There is no more waiting needed for receiving the Holy Spirit because He is already there among us. The moment a person repents Holy Spirit indwells him or her. Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 3:7 that those which are of faith are the children of Abraham.

This was an excellent gospel preached to Abraham way before he moved from the land of heathen to Canaan. The blessing that in Abraham (the then Abram) shall all the nations will be blessed and God will justify the heathen through faith was revealed by God to Abram.

Addressing the men of Israel Peter said that the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob glorified his Son Jesus, who was delivered up and the men of Israel denied Jesus as their Messiah in the presence of Pilate.

Jesus was the Holy One, Just and Prince of life, who was crucified by them, but was raised from the dead by God. Peter and other disciples are witnesses to this. Peter also referred Abraham in his speech. (Acts 3:25)
Apostle Paul wrote about Abraham in Galatians 3:8

“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed”

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