Saturday, 3 November 2018
…saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” Hebrews 6:14
The words of this verse are quoted from Genesis 22 –
“By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.” Genesis 22:16, 17
There is one noticeable change in the quote, however, from “your descendants” to “you,” but this is a way of highlighting Abraham’s place in the blessing. By multiplying his descendants, he himself is essentially multiplied as well. The concept of such an idea will be more fully revealed in Chapter 7 when dealing with a tenth of the spoils being given to Melchizedek by Abraham. The author will demonstrate that the tithes given to the Levites in Israel many years later are actually paid “through Abraham” to Melchizedek. In that example, the greatness of Melchizedek is highlighted. Here it is Abraham’s greatness which is highlighted, but because Melchizedek is the one who blesses Abraham, and because “the lesser is blessed by the better” (7:7), we are being shown a logical progression of thought which shows the absolute superiority of the priesthood of Christ over the Aaronic priesthood. Christ’s priesthood is “according to the order of Melchizedek” (5:6 & 7:17). The author has not departed from that thought at all, but is carefully making a case that it must be so.
For His own sovereign reasons, God chose Abraham. He knew he was the exact person in that particular place and time who would best suit His plan to 1) preserve the godly line which led to the Messiah, Jesus, and 2) to establish a people that would not only bring in the Messiah, but also who would fulfill His purposes in history in other ways, including Christ’s return to them in the future to reign among them.
It is Abraham who became the father of the Jewish people, but from him descend others who are now a part of the Islamic countries which are found around Israel as well. It was through Isaac that the blessing was reckoned, but Ishmael was also blessed (Genesis 17:10) and became the father of 12 tribes, just as Isaac – through Jacob – became the father of the 12 sons of Israel. In a greater sense though, Abraham has become the father of all the faithful who have been adopted as sons through Jesus (Galatians 4:5 & Ephesians 1:5). It is, therefore, through Jesus that the promise of “many descendants” is truly fulfilled. All nations on earth are blessed through Abraham because of Him. In essence, like all things, the blessing comes from God and is fulfilled by God through Jesus. As it says elsewhere –
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” Romans 11:36
Life application: God initiates all good things, they proceed through Him, and they are for Him. All things are a part of His glorious plan, and in the end, all people will glorify Him for what He has done in human history. In the coming days, great battles and sorrows will come to the sons of Abraham who are sons through the flesh only, and not through the acceptance of Jesus. This time of trouble will result in a world of great distress, but Jesus will return to rule and to weed out all unrighteousness. Until this time of trouble comes though, it is the duty of all Christians to lead the natural sons of Abraham to an understanding of his greatest Son, Jesus. Let us not waiver in our duty.
Lord God, You promised to bless Abraham and give him “many descendants” but no one could have imagined the world full of people – both through the flesh and through adoption – who would become his sons. Just as we have been adopted into the family of faith, help us to teach the natural sons of Abraham about his greatest Son, our Lord Jesus. Amen.