Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Gen 12:1-3)
The Call of Abraham
The first few verses of Genesis 12 contain the call of Abraham (then Abram) to leave his family and journey to a distant land, where Abraham would become the father of a great nation. God’s blessing would be upon Abraham, and through Abraham all the nations of the Earth would be blessed. This was the beginning of hundreds of years of wilderness wandering for Abraham’s chosen seed (though his sons Isaac and Jacob, Ishmael and Esau being excluded) – through nomadic roaming, slavery in Egypt, wilderness wandering, and then finally to the conquest and settling in Canaan land.
Get thee out of thy country… Abraham was called from his life of idolatry to follow Jehovah, the one true God. God commanded Abraham to sever ties with his worldly family in order to begin a new family line of faith (the elect seed) – a new nation that would bring forth the Saviour of mankind. Here, Abraham is called upon to separate from his idolatrous family in order to separate to this new work of Jehovah – a chosen people, in a chosen land.
…unto a land that I will show thee… The land Abraham was called unto was Caanan, but here Abraham was called to ‘go’, not knowing where the destination was going to be – he was not yet informed of the destination, but only the way.
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Heb 11:8-10)
I will make of thee a great nation… 1) In a carnal and typical sense fulfilled in the people of the ancient nation of Israel, especially under kings David and Solomon; 2) and then more perfectly in all his Spiritual children (Gal 3:14-29) – the Holy Nation (1 Pet 2:9) comprised of all those who are joint citizens with the Israelites and fellow heirs with Christ (Eph 2:11-19).
Now therefore ye [Gentiles] are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people [Gentiles], but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:8-10)
I will bless thee, and make thy name great… Abraham wandered his whole life and had no share in the land of Canaan (Acts 7:5), but yet the promise he sought was found in Christ. For he saw Christ afar off (Heb 11:13) and was blessed by being justified by faith (Romans 4).
Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. …Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (Rom 4:3,7-8)
Can anyone doubt the greatness of Father Abraham? He is the father of all the Hebrews and the father of all the faithful.
I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee… This is covenant language. God, as the Great King, places his special mark of protection/blessing on his vassal servant – “your friend is my friend and your enemy is my enemy.”
…in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. This promise is repeated in Genesis 22:18; and in Acts 3:25 Peter ties this directly to Christ. So, this promise contains, in seed form, the essence of the gospel; and this blessing comes upon any and all that come to Christ for salvation.
Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,)… (Rom 4:16-17)