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HARRY ABRAMS COLUMN: God calls Abram: What would you do?

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, get out of your country and from your kindred and from your father’s house, unto a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing. I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you. In you shall all families of the earth be blessed.

This promise is one of the most significant passages in the entire Bible. It points ultimately to the redemption of the whole world. Abraham’s family became a divinely appointed channel to which blessings would come to all men. You are not excluded from this blessing. You are included and need to realize that you are blessed.

The word blessed in this passage has nothing to do with money as people often associate blessing with. The word blessed in this text means to bend the knee, to kneel; to bless, to praise, to be blessed, to pray to, to invoke, ask a blessing of. According to the lexical aids to the Old Testament there is a close association felt between kneeling and receiving a blessing.

Being blessed is a mindset, a state of mind, which leads to a feeling of being aware of where one is and where God has brought one from. Where are you today compared to where you were five years ago? What would you do today if God spoke to you in an audible voice and said leave Port Arthur, your family and your home?

Not only was Abram blessed but he was commanded to bless others in Genesis 12:2 and the very last word in the verse. This Hebrew word is a feminine noun comes from the Hebrew word when God told Abram I will “Bless” you. To be a blessing to others means in a sense of a gift or present. It means to do something for someone that will benefit them. Have you done something for someone today to benefit them, to help ease the financial or emotional pain they may be experiencing? If not, why not?

Yesterday is gone forever, tomorrow may never come. Today is all we have. Give someone something today that will benefit them, and they can appreciate throughout life.

This promise to Abraham was formalized in a covenant found in Genesis 15:18-21 and repeated four additional times to Abraham (Genesis 17:6-8; 22:16-18) to Isaac (Genesis 26:3,4) and to Jacob (Genesis 28:13, 14). This covenant is significant for both the Jews as well as the Gentiles.

In Acts 3:25 Peter addresses the people and reminds them of the covenant. He reminds them that they are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant that God made with their fathers, saying unto Abraham, and in your seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. The Greek word for bless in this text means to confer a benefit upon.

Though we are as Port Arthur citizens far off and strangers to the covenant of Abraham, we have been brought to it by the Blood of Christ. Galatians 3:8 says, “The scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, in thee all nations be blessed. Paul argues the point to the Ephesians, saying there was a time when you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

There was a time when you were without Jesus Christ in your life. You were unfamiliar with the covenant of Abraham. You had no hope. You were living without God, in a world, created by God.

But now, you who were far off are made near by the blood of Jesus Christ. There is absolutely nothing I can do to earn salvation and earn the blessings that God promised to Abraham. Only the blood which flowed from the body of Jesus Christ can connect my mind back to the Abrahamic covenant when Abraham’s family became the divinely channel through blessings would come to us on June today and every day in the future. God bless you.

The Rev. Harry Abrams writes about faith for The Port Arthur News.