Advent Series Day 3: faith in the promise

Moving is a walk into the unknown. A few months ago, I learned that first-hand that it comes filled with questions. How long will it take to meet people? Will any of those people become friends? How do we even start the process of finding a church? Will there be restaurants as good as the Great Dane in Madison? (OK, that one was pretty specific to us. And the answer, by the way, is no.) I cannot imagine what it would have been like to uproot and relocate thousands of years ago. Before Internet searches. Before GPS technology. Before social networking… I guess I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to move decades ago.

Yet even with the unknowns, thousands of years ago, there was a man who chose to move. His name was Abram. Abram did not move because of a new job prospect or to meet up with family or to find a retirement community.

Abram moved because Yahweh told him to.

What is amazing about this response is that Abram was likely from a family of idol worshipers. He may have never encountered Yahweh before this point. Yet, when this god Yahweh, who was and is the true God, spoke to him, Abram listened.

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

Abram is old and has no children. Yet, this is a promise that he will become a nation, be blessed, and be a blessing- a blessing not just to his family or neighbors, but to the earth.

How can one man bless all peoples on earth? This is a promise that one of Abram’s descendants would be the Messiah. 

Abram made many mistakes as he tried to follow God. Yet he is still held up as an example of great faith. Why? Because as God spoke these promises to him, Abram believed. Abram (later renamed Abraham, “father of many”) lived by faith.

Abraham’s faith was proved valid. He was given a son. He was blessed. Eventually, his descendants became a nation. Then, almost two thousand years later, it was time for the rest of the promise to be fulfilled. The New Testament begins with the words,

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham. –Matthew 1:1

Jesus is the final piece. He is the fulfillment of Abraham’s promise. He is the source of blessing for all the peoples on earth.

Abraham’s faith is an example to us.

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do… That's why it is said, "Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right." But it's not just Abraham; it's also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. – Romans 4:18, 24 (The Message)

Just like Abraham, we face many unknowns. We may not know if our jobs are secure. We may not know if our homes will remain ours. We may not know if family relationships will stay strong. We may not know how we will pay for Christmas this year.

But there is one thing we can know.

We can know that our God follows through on His Word. The coming of Jesus, our Messiah, is proof of that. The Messiah came. He was a descendant of Abraham. All people can be blessed through Him.

God's promise came true. God's Word can be trusted.