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5 Mar | I will Make of you a Great Nation…in you All the Families…Shall be Blessed

5 March • Second Sunday in Lent


Genesis 12:1-4a

1. Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

4. So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him.

 

Meditation

Since the beginning, God’s plan for humanity is to bless them (Gen 1—2). Before the events in Genesis 12, mankind was once united in one common language and geography (Gen 11:1-2). However, due to Man’s fallen and sinful nature, the people rejected God and his sovereignty over them. They united in rebellion against God by building the Tower of Babel (Gen 11:3-4). God, in his mercy to prevent his people from descending further into sin, halted the idolatrous project by confusing their language and scattering them throughout the earth (Gen 11:5-9). As a result, nations were then formed with a diversity of languages.


Even though the event was a setback for God’s purpose for mankind, God’s plan was to pursue the restoration of blessing to his scattered peoples. Several generations later in Genesis 12, God called one man from among the nations, Abram, to be his instrument of blessings to the whole world.

Abram was called not because he was a perfect man—we know that he had his moments of weakness and struggled with his own faith during his journeys (Gen 12:10-20; Gen 16:1-6; Gen 20:1-18). Despite these setbacks, Abram did not give up in his walk with God and the Scripture considered him a friend of God (Is 41:8) because of his renewing faith (Heb 11:8-19). To assure Abram and encourage him, God cut a covenant with Abram in Genesis 15. As a symbolic seal of the promise, God changed his name from “Abram” (which means “exalted father”) to “Abraham” (meaning “father of a multitude of nations”).

By his faith and obedience, Abraham allowed himself to be set apart for God to fulfil his restorative work through him. Eventually, the nation of Israel was formed from Abraham’s descendants. God’s purpose was for them to become a holy and priestly nation that would bear witness to all peoples, so that generations of nations would come to know the Lord as their God. The ultimate blessing came in Jesus Christ, descending from the lineage of Abraham, and with his finished work on the cross, complete God’s plan of blessing the whole world with the gift of eternal life.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we inherit the call and mission of Abraham. Like Abraham, we are chosen not as a result of personal merit, but the grace and mercy of God (Eph 2:8; Rom 9:16). Like Abraham, God is inviting us to be blessed to bless others. The greatest blessing that we can bring to the nations is for them to have a personal relationship with God (Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15-16). Let us be intentional to go forth and shine our light before others (Mt 5:16), as we look forward to the reversing of the curse of Babel, when all peoples regardless of nation, tribe, or language, are united as one people in worshipping God (Rev 7:9).

 

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that You are the God of all nations. Help me to recognise clearly Your calling for my life and act upon Your call with faithful obedience. Even though I struggle in my own faith, continue to mould me, strengthen and renew my faith. Help me to be a blessing to the people around me, especially to the last, the least, and the lost, that they may know you and receive the gift of eternal life. Amen.

 

Action

As we enter into the new normal post-pandemic, reflect on how you can be a blessing to the nations in our country and beyond, especially those living in misery and despair. Go forth and shine the light of Christ in places where people are living in darkness.

Rev Ezekiel Tan

General Secretary

The Bible Society of Singapore

and Evangelical Alliance of Singapore



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