September 17th, 2021 – Friday Afternoon
“And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” ~Genesis 12:2-3
The LORD’s words to Abram remind us of His covenant-making (and keeping) character, but they also reveal another amazing part of who He is: The LORD is the One who blesses, and the one who is blessed by Him is a conduit of His blessing. Confusing? Let me explain…
The LORD gives great promises to Abram of how He will make Abram a great nation, how He will bless him, and of how He will make Abram’s name (reputation) great. Abram’s part of the deal is found in the previous verse – he was to leave what was comfortable, familiar, and safe, and obediently follow the LORD to wherever He would show him. Abram’s hope was not to be in what he could accomplish or in what he could obtain; rather, he was to be obedient. In line with his leaving and following, the LORD would show him where to go and pour out blessing after blessing upon his head. And that blessing would be complete: Even those who blessed Abram would be blessed and those who cursed him would be cursed by the LORD.
The LORD is the only One who could make Abram into a great nation. He is the only One who can truly bless. He is the only One who could give Abram a great reputation and name, and He is the only One who could defend and protect Abram. Abram didn’t always trust the LORD and he ended up causing more problems for himself when he took matters into his own hands; yet, when he trusted the LORD, the LORD blessed and included no sorrow with His blessings (Proverbs 10:22). He gives perfect gifts to His children (James 1:17-18) and He can be trusted to bring His blessings and promises to completion.
The second part of this, though, is found in the LORD’s promise to make Abram a blessing and to bless all the nations of the earth in him. The LORD is so good and so able that He doesn’t give blessings only for the benefit of the initial “blessing-receiver”; no, His blessings spill over and over and over. It was not just Abram who benefitted from the LORD’s blessing; his family, his friends, his relatives, his servants, his associates, even kings, peoples, and indeed, all the nations of the earth have been blessed by the LORD through Abram. The greatest testimony of the LORD’s blessing upon Abram is still seen today in the finished work of Jesus Christ (Acts 3, Romans 4, Galatians 3); even now, nearly every person alive has benefitted in some way – socially, spiritually, culturally, etc. – from the blessings poured through the cross and through those who cling to it. And for those who are in Christ, forever and ever and ever the LORD’s blessing upon and through Abram will be enjoyed for all of eternity.
How about us? Besides those blessings of the LORD received by faith through the Lord Jesus Christ (which actually encompasses everything), in what ways is the LORD blessing us? Are all of those blessings – spiritual and physical – only for ourselves? Or are they meant to bring Him glory by being dispelled through our lives, both in His Body and throughout the world?
The LORD is the One who blesses, and we who are blessed by Him are to be conduits of His blessing.