I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, whoever curses you I will curse.
And all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.Genesis 12:2-3, NIV
This is God’s promise to Abram, forming the covenant with him, which is known as the Abrahamic covenant and is the basis of other covenants, and it promises blessings on 3 areas:
- National: I will make you into a great nation.
- Personal: I will make your name great.
- Universal: All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
God’s promise to Abram is also God’s promise to us.
- Our great nation is our family, those we leave behind.
- Our name will be made great by God. Not necessarily via fame, but it will be great among the people we minister to and those we have community with.
- We are a blessing to those who bless us and a curse to those who curse us.
- All people on the earth will be blessed through us. Directly and indirectly, because someone we minister to, will minister to someone else and so on.
God’s promise to Abram depends on only God; this is indicated by the unconditional declaration, “I will.” [NIV Starting Place Study Bible, Zondervan, 2019]
The Canaanites [who descended from Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah, see The Table of Nations] has lost their right to occupy the land they were on due to their awful deprevity (Ge 15:16), so God declared that this land will belong to Abram’s descendants.
There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.Genesis 12:8, NIV
This wasn’t a private prayer, Abram was telling others about the LORD.
Abram built a temple to the LORD everywhere he settled.
This needs to serve as a reminder that anywhere we touch – even if just visiting, should be presented to the LORD as a thanksgiving for blessing us by allowing us to touch that place.
But the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai.Genesis 12:17, NIV
This is the first example of the cursing and blessing element of God’s promise.
The curse fell upon Pharaoh for taking Abram’s wife; Abram was blessed through the gifts Pharaoh gave him because of Sarai (12:20).
Twice Egypt is mentioned in the Genesis in an occation in which a follower of the LORD inhabits the land as a foreigner.
Both times each man brings his people.
Abram’s family comes with him into Egypt, while Joseph would bring his family later on, once he becomes the most powerful man in Egypt – second only to Pharaoh. The tangible difference between the two is that Abram gets to leave intact while Joseph dies in the land.
However, both times, whenever it is time for God’s people to leave Egypt, plagues are sent by God.
God allows things to happen to us not to break us, but to bless us through it. It is up to us to remain faithful to Him and to remember that Jesus left His peace with us for such occasions.
Thanks for reading!