In Genesis 12, God makes an amazing promise to Abraham. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen. 12:2-3)
God makes this promise in order to provide a blessing to the nations. This is his plan to fight sin by application of his grace. “I will make you a blessing to all nations,” says God, and this promise is to be fulfilled by the blessing of Abraham’s descendants as the people of God. God’s intent is that his love would be spread through his people to all of the other nations – an intention that is still true today.
In order to fulfill the covenant, God has to provide two things for Abraham: descendants, and a land to put them in. Both provisions are difficult to deliver. Sarah is barren, and the chosen land is full of Canaanites.
This plan has some limitations.
- not all people are automatically blessed by this plan (Canaanites, for example).
- It is a plan to attack sin, but not by destroying it (as with a flood), so it is not a universal plan (as was the flood).