The Promises to Abraham

Abraham lived about 4000 years ago in the city of Ur, on the Euphrates river.  God made a series of promises to Abraham as recorded in Genesis chapters 12 to 22.  You may wonder why promises made by God to a man 4000 years ago should be of interest to us today.    The  reason is  that, even though we do live so long after the promises was given, we ourselves can inherit with Abraham the promise that God made, and that involves the receiving of eternal life.   It is therefore in our very best interests to read the Bible which tells us, not only about Abraham and God’s promises to him, but also how we can indeed inherit the same promises, and live for ever.

Blessings through Abraham

Abraham was living in the ancient city of Ur of the Chaldees when God called him to travel to another land, intimating that, if he obeyed this call, he and many others would be greatly blessed.  

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 shew thee: 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: 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” Genesis 12:1-3

Not only would Abraham be blessed through belief in, and obedience to, God’s call, but so also would those who, out of all people on the earth, expressed the same belief and obedience.  The apostle Paul explains that those promises comprise the gospel and that faith in them would bring the blessings associated with their fulfilment.  

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations  be  blessed.  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham” Galatians 3:8-9

Further Important Promises

When Abraham arrived in the land of Canaan (known today as Israel), God made a  promise concerning  the land: 

So Abram  departed,  as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him:…and they went forth to go into  the  land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came…And the LORD appeared  unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land” Genesis: 12:4-7 

As a consequence of this promise Abraham was content for the rest of his life to remain a stranger and a pilgrim in this  promised  land.  He  knew that although the promise would not be fulfilled for a very long time, fulfilled it certainly would be and then he would inherit the land for ever.  He was encouraged  by  God’s reiterations  of  the promise  as  we can  read in other chapters of Genesis, for example:  

And the LORD said  unto  Abram,…lift  up  now thine  eyes,  and  look  from  the  place  where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:  for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever…Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee” Genesis 13:14-18

Abraham’s Seed

You will notice that Abraham’s seed is mentioned prominently  in these words of God.  But who is this seed?  We need have no doubt about the answer to this question.  Jesus Christ is Abraham’s promised seed, a fact plainly testified by the apostle Paul:  

Now to  Abraham  and  his seed  were  the promises made.  He saith not, And to seeds as of many; but as of one,  And  to  thy  seed,  which  is Christ”  Galatians 3:16

It is therefore Jesus who will inherit the promises with Abraham.  He will inherit the land of promise and in him will the faithful out of all families of the earth be blessed.

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Galatians 3:8-9

The Blessing

Abraham looked forward with happiness joy  to  the coming  of Christ,  as  Jesus himself said:   

Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad” John: 9:56

All  who know and believe these promises look forward to the coming of  Jesus  with the same anticipation.  When Jesus returns to the earth, Abraham, who has been sleeping the sleep of death in the dust of the earth for so long, will awake to inherit with Jesus, the land of promise for ever.   Many other people will also experience the same resurrection to eternal life.

These Promises can Affect You!

Although  God’s  promise  is  specifically  to Abraham and Christ, yet the  Lord’s  plan  of salvation  involves  a multitude  of  other  men and  women  being  counted  as Abraham’s seed and so ultimately enjoying everlasting life in the land of promise with Abraham and Jesus.   If we have the same faith as Abraham and demonstrate our faith by what we do in obedience to God, just as Abraham did, then we can also be the inheritors of God’s exceeding great and precious promises.  This is the good news (the Gospel) that the apostle Paul declared in his exposition concerning Abraham: later in Galatians 3

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the  children  of Abraham…So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.. .For  ye  are  all  the children  of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There  is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if ye be  Christ’s,  then  are  ye Abraham’s  seed, and  heirs  according  to  the  promise” Galatians 3: 7,9,26-29

Our hope is that you will learn about  these promises  of God;  that you will manifest the same faith and obedience as Abraham did and so that when Jesus comes you will inherit the marvellous blessings contained  in  his God’s  promise to Abraham and his seed.