Does this mean that Abraham is being less than totally obedient to God's command? In the Old Testament, we read that God postponed the promise of the land when his people refused to serve him. By inheritance, those who descend from that lineage receive the same blessings and enter into the same obligations as their great forefathers. 11:26–25:10.) But now, God is taking his covenantal relationship with Abram to the next level, insisting that Abram walk before him in blamelessness. Perhaps, he is considering Lot as the vehicle for his becoming a great nation. Alongside the demands are a series of blessings, of promises. These blessings, then, will continually undergird the development of our story. In Genesis, only four people are described as having “walked before the LORD”: Enoch (5:22, 24), Noah (6:9), Abraham (17:1; 24:40), and Isaac (with Abraham, 48:15). 13 years had passed since Abram’s illegitimate son Ishmael was born to him by Hagar. For example, God says, "I will make of you a great nation." God’s promises to Abraham’s descendants will be fulfilled literally. The demands are heavy, indeed. And Thou hast fulfilled Thy promise, for Thou art righteous. When God spoke, when God swore by Himself, He had already made a resolution. It showed God the first fruit of His efforts and of the price He had paid, and it allowed Him to see the hope in mankind. The Lord taught Abraham concerning the nations of the earth who would not be his physical offspring: “I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father” (Abr. For us, Abraham is a focal point of our covenant history, and faithful Saints rejoice to be counted among his descendants and seek to follow his example of righteousness. He takes a lot along, including his wife, his possessions, the people he had acquired in Haran, and his nephew, Lot. Before he utters his command for Abram to walk before him, and to be blameless, God reminds Abram that “I am God Almighty.” By insisting that he is God Almighty, God is not offering a vain boast, but a kind promise that whatever God requires, he provides. It should also be taken literally. Being faced with a man who could only hear His words but not understand His heart, once more God felt lonely and at a loss. More than 8.5 million Latter-day Saints regard him as their forefather, while more than one billion other Christians and Muslims consider Abraham to be their father in a symbolic sense. Do you speak candidly, with your heart? How can we cast off our sinful natures and enter the kingdom of heaven? It is also imbued with the joy and excitement with which God uttered these words, as well as the urgency of His longing to gain those who are able to listen to His words. Subscribe for free to see Q&As and gospel videos on the Lord’s return, how the wise virgins welcome the groom, the path to the heavenly kingdom, etc. Ps 105:42-44 For He remembered His holy word with Abraham His servant; And He brought forth His people with joy, His chosen ones with a joyful shout. Leaving your country wasn't the smartest thing to do. 15:12–13; 3 Ne. There is one crucial sentence in this promise that touches upon God’s thoughts at the time. All nations will be blessed in Abraham and his seed. The sacred records show that he committed himself to do all that God commanded, even being willing to sacrifice, in response to God’s command, what was most precious to him—his son. (See Abr. And what does Abraham do once he hears all this? “There is neither Jew nor Greek [in other words, neither Israelite nor non-Israelite], there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. It is the foundation of the gospel message and any understanding of God's purpose with the earth, mankind and Jesus Christ, must operate upon the axis of the promise to Abraham. God is saying that His blessings are like leaven. Did not God tell him to leave his kindred behind? Kent P. Jackson is associate professor of ancient scripture and chairman of Near Eastern Studies at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Perhaps the best-known blessing of the Abrahamic covenant is that of a vast posterity. 19:1–8.) So, at that moment, when God swore by Himself, His heart was still lonely and sorrowful. Perhaps, Abraham is being ordered to cut himself off from his past — to be alone with God and to depend on Him completely. Though brief, its content is rich: It includes the reason for, and background to, God’s gift to Abraham, and what it was that He gave to Abraham. 5:48). The promise to Abraham was also made by God to "the fathers" of Israel, The Command with a Promise. 28:15, 62–64. God issues his command with a promise–he did so with Abram, and he does so in Jesus Christ. At the same time as speaking to Himself, God also spoke to Abraham, but apart from hearing the blessings that God gave to him, was Abraham able to understand God’s true wishes in all of His words at that moment? It is further used to indicate the serenity of the unclouded relationship between God and the righteous (Gen 6:9; 17:1; Deut 18:13; Josh 24:14)…. Summary of God's promises to Abraham. for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant. So, in His heart, God was still lonely and anxious. This satisfaction and joy came from a creature made by God’s own hand, and was the first “sacrifice” that man had offered to God and that was most treasured by God, ever since man was created. People might not have much of an understanding of the phenomenon by which God swore by Himself, but you will be able to understand when I provide you with the correct explanation. 10:7–8.). But in fact, this person’s knowledge of God was barely more than nothing. (John Calvin, Commentary Upon the Book of Genesis, p. 443; CCEL). We thus make no distinction between the literal seed of Abraham and his heirs through adoption, for they are “all one in Christ Jesus.”. Rabbinical studies suggest that lech lecha can be translated as "Go to yourself." The passages cited above, along with other scriptures, point to four major aspects of the Abrahamic covenant. Abraham followed God’s command to the letter, he obeyed God’s word, and his sincerity moved God and was treasured by God. by | May 20, 2013 | Bible, Preaching, Theology | 0 comments. Gen 22:16–18 By Myself have I sworn, said Jehovah, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son: That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed My voice. This is promised in spite of the fact that he was just told to leave everything he had ever known — his country, his kindred and his father.

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