“He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” (Galatians 3:14)
We only need to take a quick look into the early pages of biblical history to discover what is meant by this expression — “the blessing given to Abraham.” And in so doing we find four unmistakable things.
Blessing #1 – Influential Greatness
Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen 12:1-3)
Abraham was blessed with influential greatness. To this day we still talk about Father Abraham; his faith in God is set forth as the premier example for all believers of every age. The manifold mysteries of his encounters with God, and the blessing given to him by Melchizedek — whose name means “The King of Righteousness and The King of Peace” — stirs the depths of our heart with wonder even now.
Blessing #2 – Impenetrable Protection
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” (Gen 15:1)
A mighty battle had just been waged, and no doubt there had been a few close calls for Abraham. And when the fighting ended, Abraham stood victorious. He had rescued Lot from captivity and had turned down the bounty offered to him by the King of Sodom. Abraham declined the gift, saying, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ (Gen 14:22-23)
Now, in one of those post victory lulls that so often sweep over our emotions, God intervenes and reassures Abraham that just as He had protected him in the midst of battle, so He would be his Shield all the days of his life. And that He would bless Abraham with the bounty of Heaven itself — an “exceedingly great reward!
Blessing #3 – Extraordinary Wealth
“The LORD has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.” (Gen 24:35)
The Lord had said, “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” When Abraham was old and well advanced in years, we are told “the Lord had blessed him in every way” (Genesis 24:1). When Abraham’s chief servant, Eliezer, when looking for a wife for Isaac, he gave this testimony about his Abraham — “The LORD has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great.”
Abraham was extraordinarily wealthy, and exceedingly happy. The Bible tells us that “The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it”(Pro.10:22).
Blessing #4 – Friendship With God
“But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend. (Isa 41:8). James tells us in the New Testament, “And the scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.”(Jas 2:23).
What a thing to have said about you! That you are God’s friend. Truly, of all the ways in which God blessed Abraham – this was the greatest. Indeed, all the other “blessings” are but secondary spin-offs of this one great thing: Abraham was God’s friend!
Here then is a snapshot of a blessed life. Influential Greatness, as opposed to hapless mediocrity; Impenetrable Protection, as opposed to defenseless and ravage; Extraordinary Wealth, as opposed to humiliating poverty; and Friendship with God, as opposed to being God’s enemy.
Call me silly, and a dreamer of dreams; but something tells me that this is exactly what you are looking for in life! And, according to the Bible, this is precisely what the Lord has in mind for you! “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”
To be continued….