Now the Lord said to Abram,
“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
– Genesis 12:1-3
The man we call Abraham was, as you may well know, originally named Abram – a name that means “exalted father.” The words you see above were spoken by the Lord to Abram when he was 75 years old. It was probably embarrassing for a 75-year-old man without children to be called a name that meant “exalted father,” but the Lord didn’t hesitate to promise that He would make this childless septuagenarian “a great nation!” (I think betting people call that sort of thing “doubling down.”)
Later on, when Abram reached the age of 99, the Lord changed his name to Abraham – which means “father of a multitude.” (Is there such a thing as “tripling down”?) God was determined to make this man a father – a father with a progeny of staggering proportions.
Although this promise of God has indeed been fulfilled in the lives lived by Abram (Abraham) and his descendants (the Jews), it is ultimately and most dramatically fulfilled in the life of a particular descendant of his: Jesus of Nazareth.
You see, the promises of God to Abram could be passed on to his descendants after him. In this way, the promise was to Abram, to Isaac, to Jacob…and eventually to Jesus. Therefore, the promise to Jesus was that He would be “father of a multitude.”
We know that Jesus never became a father while He was on earth. He never married. Thus in His suffering, Jesus remained a Son but in His glorification, He became a Father.
Therefore, in the passage above, the Lord is making a promise to which He Himself would eventually become an heir. Thus the Lord is both the promisor and the promisee. He made the promise of God and proved Himself worthy of it as a man.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, in wisdom, power, and faithfulness You have demonstrated the glory of Your character. We gladly call You Father of all…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)