This is the first sermon in ERC’s Lenten series, CO▽EN△NT, on God’s relationship with Abraham.
Out of all the people in the world, out of “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9), God chooses Abram, and binds Himself to Abram in covenant relationship.
1: a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement
2: a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action
In the case of Abram (or Abraham, as he will be named), God is promising Abraham His faithfulness, protection, provision. Abraham didn’t earn this. God reaches out to Abram, appearing to him, embracing him as His own, and it’s only because of God’s wildly undeserved mercy, by grace alone.
This is who God is. It is central to God’s character to pursue us, to choose us when we least deserve it, and to make us His own.
The shorthand summary for God’s promises to Abram is “blessing:”
“Blessing in the Bible refers to God’s characteristically generous and abundant giving of all good to his creatures and his continual renewal of the abundance of created life.”Richard Bauckham, in Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World.
The blessing that God will pour out on Abram, and Abram’s family, will overflow to the whole world, drawing all peoples back to God, into a new covenant for all nations.
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith….
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us . . . so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.Galatians 3:8-9, 13-14
Abraham was sent into the world, to overflow God’s blessing to his neighbors. Jesus calls us to go, too. Be a blessing this week!