Blessed To Be A Blessing

Laurie Buffo, Volunteer Writer, South Barrington | June 19, 2024

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. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
Genesis 12:1-3

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.  The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”     
Genesis 17:7-8

News sites and social media are riddled with images of war. It can feel naive to hope for a day when world leaders say enough is enough and sit at bargaining tables to hammer out peace treaties. The thirst for power is too great, or they are unwilling to set aside past injustice to keep from creating more injustice. And yet, we still hope for, pray for, and work toward peace. Why? Because of the God of the universe. 

God did nothing to violate the relationship between Himself and His people, yet He voluntarily—and astonishingly—initiated a series of treaties with them. The treaties, called covenants, build on each other and are the backbone of God’s peace plan. They are significant to our understanding of the Bible because they show how God is at work and how He wants people to respond. Knowledge of the Covenants helps us interpret Scripture and understand the continuity between the Old and New Testaments.

The Old Testament contains five primary covenants. Today, we examine the foundational covenant God made with Abraham. The covenant had three pivotal promises: Abraham would be the father of a great nation, the land of Canaan would belong to his offspring, and all nations would be blessed through him. You may be familiar with the first two pledges and their initial fulfillment. However, the third promise is less well-known. It reveals that God intended the people of Israel to participate in His long-term plan for the salvation of all nations. In short, God blessed Abraham and his descendants to be a blessing.

Ultimately, Jesus fulfilled the promise to bless all nations. He is the descendant of Abraham, who came to reconcile the world to God. God’s patience, faithfulness, and the scope of His plan are awe-inspiring. When you read your Bible, hunt for connections to the Abrahamic Covenant. Notice instances like Isaiah calling Israel to be a light to the Gentiles, Paul preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, and Jesus commissioning the disciples to make disciples of all nations. Look for fulfillment like every tribe and tongue worshiping together in Heaven and God’s people living in the everlasting promised land—the new creation. Then, as one who became an heir of Abraham through Jesus, play your part and be a blessing to all kinds of people, helping them reconcile with God.

Next Steps

Think about the promises you have made. How have they made peace in your relationships? How well have you kept them? Should you be more intentional about the promises you make?