Israel: Covenants & Kingdom (24) – Chapter 4 – God’s Love and Covenants with Israel

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By Rev Willem J.J. Glashouwer.. From the book “Israel: Covenants & Kingdom”

The calling of Abraham
It all started with the calling of Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3: “…The LORD had said to Abram, ‘…Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 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 peoples on earth will be blessed through [or: in] you’…” [Photo top right: Abraham’s Journey from Ur to Canaan by Josef Molnar | Credit: Wikimedia Commons].  This is the basic Covenant that God made with this forefather of Israel, and is the cornerstone of all the following Covenants. All other Covenants with Israel are an enlargement of this one Covenant. Seven times God uses the formula ‘I Will’, either expressed or understood!

The three basic elements of this Abrahamic Covenant are a land, a nation and a blessing. A blessing for Abraham himself, for Israel, and through Abraham for all nations on earth. Sometimes people think that this was a promise just for Abraham personally, and had nothing to do with the nation of Israel. They claim: “God said that whosoever would bless Abraham personally in his lifetime would be blessed, and whoever would curse Abraham would be cursed. But that has nothing to do with Israel or the Jewish people as such.”

We already heard about Balaam. And we read in Numbers 23:8-10: “…How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced? From the rocky peaks I see them, from the heights I view them. I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations. (“…Lo, the People shall dwell alone, And shall not be reckoned among the nations…”, KJV). From the mountaintops he looked at them. And then he made his pronouncement. He simply could not curse those whom God had not cursed. Later he concluded in Numbers 24:9: “… Like a lion they crouch and lie down, like a lioness – who dares to rouse them? May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!…” So Balaam applied God’s promises of   blessing or cursing to the whole nation of Israel, not just to Abraham personally.

Confirmation of the Abrahamic Covenant with Isaac
Genesis 17:7-8: “…I will establish My Covenant as an everlasting Covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God…”

Genesis 22:15-18: “…The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, ‘I swear by Myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descend- ants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed Me’…”

Genesis 26:1-4, 24: “…Now there was a famine in the land – besides the earlier famine of Abraham’s time – and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed … That night the LORD appeared to him and said, ‘I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of My servant Abraham’…”

 

To be continued.. with: Chapter 4 – God’s Love and Covenants with Israel – Confirmation of the Abrahamic Covenant with Jacob

The book “Israel: Covenants & Kingdom” and other books from Rev Willem J.J. Glashouwer can be ordered from the webshop of Christians for Israel International.

 


Rev Willem J.J. Glashouwer
President Christians for Israel International

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