Gen. 12:1-3 The Promised Blessings 

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: 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: 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."

In the above passage God instructed Abram to do four things:

    1.  Get thee out of thy country

    2.  Separate from thy kindred   

    3.  Separate from they father's house

    4.  Go to a land that God would show him.

God promised Abram seven blessings when he did the four things above:

    1.  I will make of thee a great nation

    2.  I will bless thee

    3.  I will make thy name great

    4.  Thou shalt be a blessing

    5.  I will bless them that bless thee

    6.  I will curse him that curseth thee

    7.  In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

There are at least eight significant conclusions from the above:

    1.  God 's blessings exceed in number the things God required of Abram.

    2.  God's blessings exceeded greatly in extent over the things required of Abram.

    3.  God was gracious, as we will see, in providentially interceding to see that Abram fulfilled what God required of him. 

    4.  God was acting in his sovereignty in appearing and blessing Abram.  He was the lone man on the face of the earth at that time that God appeared unto and made such promises to. 

    5.  God acted according to his grace in appearing unto Abram and making the above promises.  Abram had done nothing to deserve such great promises.

    6.  God made promises to Abram that could only be fulfilled by the power of God. 

    7.  God made promises to Abram that only an eternal God could perform.

    8.  God made promises to Abram that only an omniscient God could accomplish. 

To make of one man a great nation involved the providential blessings of God not only on that one man, but upon many generations and descendants of Abram to follow.  The extent of this promise was truly astounding.  Then for that nation to become a great nation would require the special presence of God with that nation.  The course of history set forth for us in the scriptures shows us that all this came to pass just as God said it would.

God promised to Abram that He would bless him.  Some of the blessings upon Abram were truly astounding.  God blessed Abram with his providential watch care over him even turning the heart of kings that could otherwise have done him harm.  Moreover, God blessed Abram to have a son, Isaac, when both he and his wife Sarah were physically unable to produce children.  Moreover, God blessed Abram to intercede on behalf of his nephew Lot and then to defeat a great army of four nations with 318 servants.  Furthermore, God blessed Abram when he met Melchisedec returning from the slaughter of the kings.  It is just a small sampling of the ways that God blessed Abram.

God promised Abram that He would make his name great.  Today, nearly four thousand years later, Abraham is one of the greatest names on the face of the earth.  His name is not only great among the Jewish people, but his name is great as the father of the faithful among Christians, and the Muslims also consider Abraham to be their father as well. 

God promised Abram that he would be a blessing.  In many ways Abram has been a blessing.  He was a blessing to his descendants as God made a covenant with him and in that covenant he established a nation and gave them the land of Canaan for an inheritance and possession.  He is a blessing to us today as an example of a faithful man, trusting in God and receiving the blessings of faith.  Most significantly, it was through Abraham that the promised seed, (Christ), would come and save His people from their sins.

God promised Abram that he would bless him that blessed thee.  God blessed Abimilech the king of the Philistines and his house and the servants when they obeyed the commandment of God and restored Sarah back to Abraham.  The wives all conceived and bear children.  Moreover, God blessed those nations who supported and helped Israel both in their journeys and in their pilgrimage in the land of Canaan. 

God promised Abram that he would curse him that curseth thee.  We see this particularly manifested with those nations who took up arms against Israel and sought to do harm to Israel.  God cursed their efforts and blessed Israel on many occasions.

The last promise is the greatest of all.  God promised Abram that in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.  Later that promise is expanded to show that the blessing would come through the seed of Abraham.  Christ is that promised seed of Abraham: Gal. 3:16 "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."  The family is defined for us in the New Testament as consisting of a father, and a mother, and at least one child.  The promise is that God would bless at least one member of every family in Christ.  The conclusion we can draw from this is that God's elect includes at least one member of every family on the face of the earth, both past, present, and future.  This is a great multitude that no man can number of every nation, kindred, people, and tongue, that are clothed with white robes and have palms in their hands, "And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." 

Gen. 12:4, 5 Slow Growth of Abram

Gen. 12:4 "So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came."

Abram would later become known as the father of the faithful and certainly much of his life was manifested by his faith in God and the word of God.  However, he did not start out as a man full of faith.  Rather, he grew slowly in his faith. 

Abram was told by God to do four things.  He was to leave the land of his nativity.  He was to leave his father's house.  He was to leave his kindred.  He was to go to a land that God would show him.  The first thing Abram apparently started to do right away.  He left the land of his nativity, but he stopped well short of going to the land of Canaan.  He did not a first leave his father's house.  It was a long time, until he departed from his kindred.  Abram left the land of his nativity, but he stopped in Haran.  His father went with him: Acts 7:2-4 "And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee.  Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell." 

God first appeared to Abram when he was in the land of Mesopotamia.  Apparently, Abram told his father about what God had said to him.  His father went with Abram to Haran.  There they stayed until his father died.  It was not until the death of his father, that Abram made the effort to go on unto Canaan.  Moreover, Lot, the nephew of Abram went with Abram unto the land of Canaan.  Thus, Abram still had not obeyed to do all that God had commanded him to do.  Abram did not actively obey when he finally departed his father's house.  He only departed after his father was dead.  Also, we will see that Abram was very slow to separate himself from his kindred. 

After the death of his father, Abram partially obeyed the commandment of God in that he went into the land of Canaan. 

This should serve to teach us that even with the father of the faithful, growth in faith is often painstakingly slow.  God's people rarely start out fully grown in their walk of faith.  They grow into it slowly.  We also see that God is very longsuffering toward us and very patient with us as we grow in faith.  God's grace toward us is truly amazing.