God’s Promises to Abraham

God made several promises to Abram/Abraham. He made them without condition.

(Gen 12:1) Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee:

God called Abram out of his father’s country, Haran, to go into Canaan. So Abram left all his family, his comforts, his friends, business associates, etc., and went into Canaan. Because he did as God asked, God made him a promise:

(Gen 12:2) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

God promises to make Abram’s offspring into a nation of many people. Later we will see that God will compare these people to the sands on the seashore and the stars in the heavens. He also promised to make Abram’s name great. Abraham is a name known throughout the world. How has Abram been a blessing?

(Gen 12:3) And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

A blessing is a benefit. Any people who benefit Abram and his progeny will, in turn, receive a benefit from God. To curse is to bring into contempt. Any who have contempt for Abram and his progeny will bring the contempt of God on themselves.

For example, Hiram, king of Tyre, was very good to David. He blessed David and Solomon with goods and good will. In turn, the Lord blessed him. Tyre became a very great and rich trading nation. Tyre later stopped blessing Abraham and fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC.

Of course you know that any nation that went up against Israel without God’s blessing, suffered ignoble defeat. Egypt was blessed as long as they treated the Israelites fairly. When the new king who knew not Joseph mistreated them, God sent many plagues or curses upon the Egyptians. Eventually they gave up much of their treasures to Israel and lost their army in the Red Sea.

“All the families of the earth” means that every people throughout every generation even up to the present were to have been blessed in Abraham.

When Abram moved to Sichem (Shechem, Sychar in John’s Gospel), God appeared to him.

(Gen 12:6) And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

Abram was in Sichem or Shechem, on Moreh, in Canaan. The Canaanite was in the land meant that these promises were for the future—for Abraham’s progeny.

(Gen 12:7) And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

God promised Abram that his offspring would inhabit the land of Canaan. That happened when Joshua led them into the Promised Land. Abram built an altar and worshipped Yehovah. In fact, he did so wherever he stopped.

Abram and Lot separated, Lot going into the plain of Jordan and Abram staying in the high country in Canaan. After their separation, God again spoke to Abram.

(Gen 13:14-16) And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: {15} For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. {16} And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

As far as Abram could see, God promised that land to him. God promised it forever. Forever means into eternity. The Hebrew word connotes eternity. Forever means yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Note also that Abram’s offspring will be innumerable. They will be as the dust. (Gen 13:17) Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. Abram could only see a limited part of the land so God had him walk it to know what God had promised him.

(Gen 15:4) And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

Abram had no children so he had asked God if his chief servant, Eliezer of Damascus would be his heir (see verses 1-3). God promised him he would have a son, even at his age.

(Gen 15:5) And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

God now compares Abram’s seed with the stars of heaven. They number higher that the dust of the earth.

(Gen 15:6) And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Is Abraham saved? Yes, because he believed God and God justified him. Of course he is also covered by Jesus’ blood.

(Gen 15:7-8) And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. {8} And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

Abram wanted a sign.

(Gen 15:9-10) And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. {10} And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

Abram prepared the animals for the making of a covenant. Animals were cut in half and both parties to a covenant would walk through them, signifying that the covenant was sealed.

(Gen 15:11) And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

Abram protected the prepared animals during the day. Night came.

(Gen 15:12) And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

God induced this dream like state upon Abram who was aware of his surroundings but unable to react to them.

(Gen 15:13-16) And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; {14} And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. {15} And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. {16} But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

God prophesies about the time that the Israelites were to be in Egypt and their eventual redemption from bondage to the Egyptians.

(Gen 15:17-18) And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. {18} In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

The lamp and furnace were the shekinah glory of God. They were the pillar of smoke and pillar of fire that guided the Israelites through the wilderness. Note that only God walked between the pieces. Abram was not able to do anything. God and God alone made this covenant. Abram was not a party to the covenant but he was the beneficiary. Abram and his offspring could not break this covenant even if they wanted to. God alone made it and it is unbreakable.

(Gen 17:1-8) And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. {2} And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. {3} And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, {4} As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. {5} Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. {6} And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. {7} And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. {8} And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

Abraham means father of many nations and he is the father of many nations and not just the nation Israel. He was exceedingly fruitful and his offspring are number as the dust of the earth and the stars of the heavens. The covenant is everlasting and that means eternal. Canaan is an everlasting possession of the seed of Abraham.

(Gen 22:15-18) And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, {16} And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: {17} That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; {18} And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

The angel of the Lord is the visible presence of God, the Memra. The promise is clarified. Abraham’s seed would be as the sand of the seashore.

Abraham’s seed have always possessed the gate of their enemies. This doesn’t mean that they were never defeated or taken captive. It means they always came out on top in the long run. This promise is eternal and therefore lasts until Messiah comes and into eternity. See The Relationship Between Israel and the Church.

God’s promises to Abraham were forever and are still in effect. They cannot be broken. Some say that all the promises have been annulled now that Jesus has come. They say the church has replaced the Jews (meaning all Abraham’s children) and received all the blessings the children of Abraham would have received. That is just not true; it is a tradition of men made because many misunderstand what the Word says. Forever means just that. If the promises are no longer in effect then God has broken His covenant making Him a liar. He isn’t a liar and the promises are still intact. Those Christians who are not direct descendants of Abraham are adopted children and engrafted branches and have an equal share in the promises (Rom 11:17). God said that the promises were forever and so they are.



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