Genesis 12:1-3 Video Devotional

“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

I wonder what hearing this must have felt like to Abram. A child-less husband, getting on in years is told he will become a great nation and all the families of the earth will be blessed through him. What a promise! What an improbable promise. There are a lot of things riding on this, the first of which is actually having a child; that being a problem for Abram and his bride, Sarai.

What exactly is this blessing? The United States has historically used this verse as their reasoning for holding political ties with Israel. Is that really what God meant? I don’t think so. Looking back through Israel’s history, what blessing could be so powerful that it literally blesses every family on earth? Jesus. Jesus is the blessing – the gospel, the salvation of all humans who believe, which we see in Revelation that is from every tribe, every tongue, every nation. Every family will be blessed with the gift of Jesus.

So why preface it with the “bless those who bless you” and vice versa part? Looking at it in its context makes this answer simple: because God was protecting the line of Christ – the line of the promise. This is proven historically as well. No matter how evil Israel got as a nation, God continued to bless them. Why? Because they deserved it or were entitled to it? No, of course not. They were blessed because of this promise – Jesus was on His way, but the lineage had to be protected and blessed.

God gives promises for a reason – and keeps them no matter what. With God, there is no variation or shifting shadow; no change (James 1). He is faithful, yesterday, today and forever. So for us, that means we are blessed through Abram – Jesus is our gift, our blessing, our salvation!

Exodus 12:40-42 Video Devotional

“The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.” (Exodus 12:40-42)
Sitting here at my desk, it is difficult to put my mind around the next few months and how to make it through this time. It literally feels like forever. Yet it is only a couple of months. Imagine trying to picture the idea of waiting 430 years! That’s how long the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. Every moment of every day they were holding their breath, unsure of what would happen next and constantly waiting for their rescue. It must have been excruciating. Yet, through it all, God was right by their side, feeling their pain with them, but putting together the perfect solution that would ultimately help them understand the sacrifice Jesus would make on the cross. God passes over the Christians’ sin because we are hidden in Christ.
I am with you; this waiting is hard. But we can do it, because we know that God is working out something good for us, as well as showing the whole world His greatness and glory. People will come to faith in Jesus as a result of this difficult time. God is faithful and will work it all out for His purposes and glory – and one of His main purposes is to bring life and healing to people.
So, let’s be patient together, bearing one another in love, gentleness and humility (Ephesians 4:2).