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It Goes Back to Abram: The Purpose of Blessing

It Goes Back to Abram: The Purpose of Blessing

Do you know why God blesses you?

The answer is found throughout the Bible: We’re not blessed merely for our own benefit. God’s plan to bring people from every nation into His family involves working through His followers throughout history to be conduits of His grace.

The Lord’s purpose and passion to use His people to convey blessing in the world is embedded in all of Scripture, and it’s clearly seen all the way back in the Bible’s earliest chapters. Take a look at what God said to Abram (later called Abraham) after calling him to leave his homeland:

‘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 you.’” (Genesis 12:2-3 NIV)

In these verses, God describes several ways He will bless Abram: The Lord vows to make Abram into a great nation and make his name great, blessing those who bless Abram but cursing those who curse him. But God’s promises don’t stop there.

The other promises in this passage reveal the purpose behind bestowing Abram with blessing: to bless others through him—not only a select few but all peoples of the earth.

True to His promise, God did indeed make Abram a great nation; and Abram’s descendants, the Israelites, became channels of blessing. Psalm 67 beautifully reflects the purpose of God’s blessing on Israel:

“May God be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face shine on us—

so that your ways may be known on earth,

your salvation among all nations.

 

“May the peoples praise you, God;

may all the peoples praise you.

May the nations be glad and sing for joy,

for you rule the peoples with equity

and guide the nations of the earth.

May the peoples praise you, God;

may all the peoples praise you.

 

“The land yields its harvest;

God, our God, blesses us.

May God bless us still,

so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.” (Psalm 67:2-7 NIV)

God’s gracious gift of salvation—the greatest blessing in all eternity—wasn’t meant for the Jewish people alone. Numerous times, this Psalm proclaims that the goal of God’s blessing on Israel is that all peoples would fear and praise Him. Just as He blessed Abram not only for Abram’s good but for the sake of others, He blessed the Jewish people so that the nations surrounding them would come to know and worship Him.

But it didn’t stop there. It started with Abram, it continued with the Israelites and it lives on in us. WE are channels of God’s blessing.

This was God’s plan back in Genesis 12—we were part of God’s promise spoken to Abram thousands of years ago! Paul explains it this way:

“Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” (Galatians 3:7-9 NIV)

Our faith in Jesus makes us Abram’s descendants; and as his children, we are blessed so that all nations can know the same blessing—the same salvation—we have received from God. The gifts He gives us and the grace He pours out on us aren’t for our benefit alone!

As followers of Christ, we are part of fulfilling God’s promise to bless every nation of the world. Every believer has a role to play—no Christian is exempt! How is the Lord calling you to be a blessing to the nations?

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