Jesse Tree: Day 5 Abraham (Gen.15:1-21)
Even before the curse, is the promise. ‘I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head and you will strike His heel’ (Gen.3:15). Redemption comes only through the suffering of the Redeemer. The exile Adam and Eve would endure is brought to an end only when the Lord Himself enters that exile and endures its curse. That promise was so vivid that when Eve bore her first son, she seems to have initially thought this was the Man. The Hebrew of Gen.4:1 might be more literally rendered: ‘I have brought forth the Man, the Lord’ (this is somewhat obscured by the NIV…) The passing of years did not make the promise less sure.
The God of the Bible is the God of promise. And all of us who follow this God live in the expectation of promises yet to be fulfilled. Whilst Abraham was waiting for the fulfilment of the promise of the Serpent-Crusher, He was also waiting for the New Creation, the ‘city with foundations, whose architect and builder was God’; that, we are told, is why he lived in tents - a living testimony to the temporary nature of his passing through this life (Heb.11:9-10). But Abraham is not just a great example of how to live obediently in the light of promise (i.e. by faith, see Rom.4), but he also illustrates and points to that promise himself.
Abra(ha)m was told to leave his father’s household and to travel to a land the Lord would show him. He was promised not only that a nation would descend from him, but that the Blessing would descend through Him, so that through him all peoples on earth would be blessed. The fact that Abraham met with and knew that Blessing (Jn 8:56-58) simply illustrates how deep and rich the faith of the Patriarchs actually was. And so Abra(ha)m left Ur of the Chaldees and travelled to Canaan, taking with him all that he owned, and the wealth and peoples he had accumulated (Gen.12:1-9).
That was, of course, precisely the journey the people of Israel would make generations later when they were led back from Babylon (Chaldea, see Ezek.12:13) to Judah (Canaan). Abra(ha)m’s whole life pre-figures the Son he would bear, the One who would be the Blessing of all peoples on earth. Matthew brilliantly brings this all together when he opens his Gospel with the genealogy of Jesus, and concludes: ‘It was fourteen generations from David to the exile in Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah’ (1:17). At the deepest level, it wasn’t Ezra and Nehemiah who brought the people of God out of exile, but the Son of Abraham.
See Jer.34:18 for the significance of Gen.15:10 & 17
Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him… (Gen.15:17-18)
Ideas for Family Devotions:
Ur of the Chaldees (where Abram lived) was in modern day Iraq. Have a look at the Open Doors children’s video about the Church in Iraq today. It’s called Noeh’s Story, and can be found here:
As a family, how could you support the Church in Iraq? There are some great ideas in the children’s section of the Open Doors Website.
Did you know that MIE partners with Open Doors?