The Seed of Abraham
God's scarlet thread. One end lies in Genesis, the other in Revelation. Between the ends the thread pulls together the most beautiful and terrifying story ever told. This month we'll look at the thread as it winds through the life of God's friend, Abraham.
When God chose Abraham to be the one to carry His scarlet thread, He didn't choose Abraham because he was perfect, nor because he had a solid relationship with God. Abraham was just a regular guy, tending his flocks when God interrupted his life.
First, God told Abraham (at that time he was still Abram) to leave his country and his father's house and go to the land the Lord would show him. So Abraham did - sort of. He brought his nephew, Lot, with him. It wasn't simply the man Lot, but Lot's entire household that accompanied Abraham and his household. Thus began Abraham's walk with the Living God - anything but perfect.
Throughout his relationship with God we see Abraham's frail humanity as well as his burning desire to know his Creator intimately. Abraham lies about his relationship with his wife. He also allows himself to be persuaded to father a child with Hagar, his wife's servant, in hopes of helping God's plan along.
But we are also shown a man who obviously felt very secure in his relationship with the Lord. How else could he have been bold enough to bargain with the Lord regarding the souls in Sodom and Gomorrah?
Despite his faults, or perhaps because of them, God chose Abraham to be the father of a great nation and the direct forefather of the Son of God. In Genesis 12:2-3, we read some of the promises God made to Abraham:
- I will make of you a great nation,
- I will bless you and make your name great,
- You will be a blessing,
- I will bless those who bless you,
- I will curse those who curse you
- In you all the families of the earth will be blessed
Later, in Genesis 15, we see just how important the covenant God made with Abraham is. At first it looks as though God is going to cut covenant with Abraham, but after the sacrificial animals are prepared God puts Abraham to sleep and cuts covenant with Himself. This, therefore, is a covenant that cannot be broken, for the Lord has made it with Himself.
“And [God] said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs [Egypt], and they will be slaves there and will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years. [Fulfilled in Exod. 12:40.] But I will bring judgment on that nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. And you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old (hoary) age. And in the fourth generation they [your descendants] shall come back here [to Canaan] again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete. When the sun had gone down and a [thick] darkness had come on, behold, a smoking oven and a flaming torch passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant (promise, pledge) with Abram, saying, To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates--the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
We see that not only does God promise the land to Abraham's descendants, but He tells Abraham of the Egyptian captivity they will endure before coming into the land.
In looking at the life of Abraham we should all be greatly encouraged. Our faith in God and His Son, and our heart's desire to know Him more intimately are what matter the most. Yes, we should continue to weed out sin in our lives, but we should never feel that we are not worthy of God's love because our lives are not perfect. Abraham wasn't perfect. God knows who we are and what we are, and He loves us anyway. In fact, He loves us so much He doesn't want to see us remain the way we are! Let Him have a look around your heart, take His hand, and follow Him into the promises He has for you.