“The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing…all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” – Genesis 12:1-3
“And through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed…” – Genesis 22:18
Have you ever pondered the significance of this promise God made to Abram thousands of years ago? Abram packed up and left his home in an enormous act of faith, believing that God would change the world through his progeny. Following this promise, millennia passed, and the offspring of Abram was anything but a blessing to the peoples of the earth. The incredible promise of God seemed to be in jeopardy time and again: old age & infertility, disobedience & idolatry, discipline & exile, threats & attacks from enemies all sought to rise up against the hope of the glorious implications of God’s original covenant with Abram (who was renamed “Abraham”). This came to a head when the long-awaited Messiah of God, Jesus Christ, the offspring of Abraham, was executed by the bloodline of Abraham. Even then, God remembered his promise to bring His blessing to all peoples of the earth. He brought the Messiah back to life and ushered in the promised age in which the Gentile nations (“ethne” or “peoples”, meaning ethno-linguistic people groups, not simply “countries” as we would refer to nations today) would be included into the family of God and be beneficiaries of the Abrahamic covenant made thousands of years ago.
What strikes me about this is that God had the entire world in his focus from the very beginning. He did not limit his promise of blessing to the nation of Israel, the bloodline of Abraham. Rather, he planned to include every single nation and family who has faith in the provision of God through Jesus Christ, regardless of blood relation (Galatians 3:7-9).
Shortly after the nations began to receive the long-awaited blessings of God (Acts 2), John, a servant of Jesus, received a vision of the glorious culmination of this promise. God pulled back the veil and showed John that heaven would be filled with people from all nations: “You [Jesus] are worthy…because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” – Revelation 5:9
Wow! This is us! At the end of time, we will be worshipping God with a multitude of people who look, act, and sound nothing like us! God’s blessings are not just for faithful Israelites. They are not just for American Christians. They are not just for speakers of English. God’s blessings are for Iranians, Russians, Libyans, Nigerians, and all the unique people groups that make up these nation states who have placed their faith in the faithful offspring of God, Jesus Christ. You and I are a small part of this global tapestry, the family of God.
So, as you pray for the world, and as you seek to obey the Great Commission by being a faithful witness to the power and love of Jesus Christ, sow broadly! Joyfully tell everyone, regardless of their ethnicity or language, about the incredible blessings of God promised to Abram thousands of years ago. And look forward to the day when you will worship God with countless brothers and sisters in Christ (whom you may or may not be related to), basking in the long-awaited blessings of God!