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. 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. 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.”
This passage from Genesis 12 is the prequel to my last post entitled Blessed. There I explain that Jesus perfectly exemplified the one whom he calls “blessed” in the Beatitudes. Jesus is fully righteous and pure, meek and mournful, yet he became poor, was persecuted and reviled for our sake. He is worthy of all blessing, but he gives that blessing to us.
And as far as humans are concerned, that blessing starts with Abraham. Genesis 12 recounts God’s call upon Abram of Ur to go to a distant land and establish his family there. The promise God gives Abram is truly spectacular. God promises to make Abram and his barren wife into a great nation, and from that nation to bless all the families of the earth.
That blessing was finally and fully realized in Jesus, the Blessed One, who was all that we could not be and paid for all that we deserve.
And that blessing is a reminder that we are in great need and God is a great Giver. The whole point here is not that Abram is so good. Virtually all we know about him is that he exists. The story goes that Abram was living with his wife and nephew and father, and God called him to go. There is no discussion of Abram’s qualifications or moral rightness, he is simply there and God calls Him.
No, Abram is completely unimportant to the story except that God called him. His worth, his blessedness is bound up in the fact that God gave him such a great gift. He was blessed by God to be the means of God blessing all the world. And we are blessed by God to become a blessing to others. God gave us the gospel to give to gospel-starved people.
We are called to carry out the promise God gave to Abram in Genesis 12, to be a means of God blessing all the families of the earth.