Sunday, December 6, 2015

Season of Promise: Abraham

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Eve's promise tells us the deliverer, the savior, the one who will defeat the serpent, will come.

The next promise tells us his God establishes and confirms His covenant with Abraham (Abram) (all scripture today from the ESV):

And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. -- Gen 12:2-3

I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore.  And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice. -- Gen 22:17-18

And we also know which son that covenant would be reckoned through:

God said, 'No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac.  I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.' - Gen. 17:19

Lest there be any confusion, God designated Isaac by name, as Abraham had other sons; not only Ishmael, from Hagar, but he took a second wife, Keturah, after Sarah died and had children with her also; her sons were named Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian(who was the father of Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah), Ishbak and Shuah.

All of these were given the same treatment as Ishmael...they were given gifts and sent away from Isaac, through whom the covenant would be established.

And, notice...we have a singular pronoun again in 22:18... And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies...  'his' not 'their', and 'gate', not 'gates'.

We are still looking at a one-on-one battle; one offspring, one gate.

But we have narrowed the field a bit.  Whereas Eve's promise was equally likely amongst all her children, Abraham's promise now states that the Enemy-defeater would be born to the children of his son Isaac.

In other words, now one nation is selected from all the nations to be the one from which the promise will come.

But this is still a promise for all mankind:
...all families of the earth shall be blessed...all the nations of the earth shall be blessed...

Because, you know, in that culture the gates represented authority.  He is going to possess the authority that had been given to his enemies.

In Advent, we anticipate the coming of the one who will  destroy the serpent and bless all people by possessing the authority that had been given to the enemy.

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