THE PROMISES OF GREAT NATIONAL AND MATERIAL BLESSINGS
From the 12th chapter in the Book of Creation or better known as Genesis through 22nd, there are seven passages that describe the promises that Yahweh gave and reconfirmed (to confirm again; also: to establish more strongly) to Abraham. In this first accounting (Genesis 12: 1-3) Yahweh told Abraham to leave his homeland and family. This was the first of many tests or conditions that Abraham had to meet prior to his receiving the promises.
With Abraham willingly obeying the commands of Yahweh, He then promised to make his name great. His “progeny”, his seedline, offspring, would also become great as well. As we will see, the end results of this promise would rank among the world’s greatest and most significant historical developments.
A few verses later Yahweh appeared unto Abram (note: I have been using Abraham so far, but his name had not been changed during this period of time) and then promised his descendants the land of the Canaanites, “And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him” (Genesis 12: 6-7). There is no doubt or shouldn’t be any doubt that when Yahweh gave His promises to Abraham, that this included physical and material possessions.
Genesis 13 provides us with much more information in regards to the promises of Yahweh. After the account of Abraham’s willingness to grant the fertile plain that was adjacent to the Jordan River to his nephew Lot (Genesis 13: 5-13), Yahweh, in turn, promised all of the land of Canaan to Abraham forever (verses 14-17), indicating that the chronological and eternal aspects of His promise were closely related.
Abraham was still without children, Yahweh still promised that his descendants would be counted: “And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered” (Genesis 13:16). The immense scope of this promise, the limitless expansion of Abraham’s descendants, should not be taken at all lightly. As we will see, it had and still has enormous implications.
Roughly a decade later Yahweh once again appeared to Abraham via a vision. Abraham, at this time was still without offspring, Yahweh still once again promised Abraham an heir, and this heir, said Yahweh, “And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir” (Genesis 15:4). An incredible multitude of a race would develop from that single heir, Isaac. “And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be” (Genesis 15:5). What and how did Abraham respond to this? “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).
With Abraham’s confidence that he could trust Yahweh to keep His word, even far into the future, was one of the reasons why Yahweh loved Abraham. Yahweh chose him to be not only the father of great nations, but “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:” (Romans 4:11). Yahweh was working out several roles for the ever faithful Abraham.
A few verses later Yahweh promised him not only innumerable descendants, but also a territory stretching “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” (Genesis 15:18). This vast tract of land or territory covered much more than the original lands of Canaan that Yahweh had promised. (Genesis 12: 6-7; 17:8; 24:7).
Promises made and Expanded by Yahweh
As Abraham continually demonstrated his undeniable faithfulness, Yahweh as a result expanded the scope of promises He made to Abraham. They involved much more than what Yahweh had originally revealed to this faithful man. The most detailed accounting of these expanded promises are found within Genesis 17.
“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17: 1-8). As with earlier statements of this promise, Yahweh’s blessing unto Abraham, was still very conditional and based on Abraham’s continued obedience and commitment to him maturing spiritually. Here Yahweh once again reminds him of this by saying “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Genesis 17:1 you may also compare it with Matthew 5:48 as well).
A Great Nation is made into “MANY NATIONS”
You must remember that a very important part of Yahweh’s promise was to significantly multiply Abraham’s seedline. His progeny or descendants, as it were. Here Yahweh emphasized this yet to be reality by renaming the patriarch of Israel. Up to this point in the history of Abraham, he had been known as Abram. Yahweh now told him “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee” (Genesis 17:5) As we stated earlier, Abram has a meaning of “exalted father”, while the name “Abraham” has a meaning of “father of a multitude”.
As to drive the point home, Yahweh elaborated on this aspect of His promise “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee” (Genesis 17:6). This once again proven within the Holy Scriptures just a few verses later “And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her” (Genesis 17: 15-16).
Yahweh continues, in Genesis 17: 8-9 when He says “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations”. The account of Genesis 17 clearly establishes Yahweh’s commitment to Abraham as an “everlasting covenant”, see verses 7, 13 and 19. A “binding agreement” as it were thus obligating Yahweh to grant the patriarch’s descendants (seedline) the land of Canaan in perpetuity [the quality, state, or duration of being perpetual <devised to them in perpetuity>: the condition of a future estate limited in such a way as not to vest within the period fixed by law for the vesting of an estate; also: a limitation that gives rise to such a situation b: an estate that will not vest within the period fixed by law — see also rule against perpetuities, statutory rule against perpetuities: an annuity payable forever] (Genesis 17:8). Yahweh’s commitment to Abraham was vast and far-reaching.
The sixth accounting of Yahweh’s promise unto Abraham appears to us in Genesis 18, held within the setting just prior to the heavenly termination of the sin-infested, anti-Yahweh cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham’s angelic messengers, with news about the DIVINE TRUTH of punishment to fall upon these two travesties of cities, only reconfirmed the long anticipated and soon in coming birth of his son, to the 99 year old Abraham, and of his wife Sarah, but only 10 years his junior (Genesis 18: 10-14).
With Yahweh promising that He would not “hide” His intentions from Abraham (Genesis 18:17; Amos 3:7), the angelic messengers then visited the aged Abraham and re-affirmed the promises that Abraham would “surely be a great and mighty nation”, a physical, material and national commitment of an immeasurable scope. They also reconfirmed the messianic promise from Yahweh, that, “Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” (Genesis 18:18)
Abraham, had proven himself faithful to Yahweh, and as a result about a year after the above mentioned, Sarah gave birth to Isaac (Genesis 21:1-3).Yahweh had proven His faithfulness to His commitment to Abraham.
The Ultimate Test of Abraham
In Genesis 22 we find the completion of these seven accounts of Yahweh’s promises. Here also, lays one of the most momentous events held within the Holy Scriptures.
In probably the greatest of accounts we see Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac, as it foreshadows the foundational event of Yahweh’s plan to offer His salvation to all, Yahweh’s willingness to offer to us His only son, Yahshua the Messiah, as a sacrifice (John 3:16-17).
As I stated earlier, that Yahweh’s promises were dependent upon Abraham’s unconditional and continued obedience (Genesis 12:1; 17:9). But we see that after the events of Genesis 22 Yahweh transformed His covenant with Abraham by elevating it to a new level. Given Abraham’s unwavering faith why wouldn’t Yahweh make it greater?
Yahweh commanded Abraham to take his son Isaac, the son of the promise (Romans 9:9), and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:2). Abraham’s supreme test of faith had finally arrived.
During this time period in Abraham’s life, he had already learned to trust in Yahweh unconditionally. He long ago, experienced Yahweh’s wisdom, truth, love and faithfulness. He then as we know, proceeded to do as he was commanded, only to be miraculously stopped at that particular moment he would have slain his son (Genesis 22: 9-11).
We can learn several profound lessons from this incident. First, Yahweh, whether in ancient times or current times, has never sanctioned worshipping Him with a human sacrifice. Nor, would He ever wish this to happen. Second, Yahweh prohibited Israel from practicing or following the pagan practices or rituals of offering their firstborn children as a sacrifice to false idols and “gods”, or properly known as “gads”. Human sacrifice was part and parcel of the Mesopotamian society from which Abraham was called, as well as the nations that were around him. But, Yahweh made sure his faithful servant would not actually slay his son, although Abraham did not know in advance that Yahweh would stay his hand.
In the next verse Yahweh’s words reveal what He really wanted to find out about Abraham; “And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” (Genesis 22:12). In his unconditional willingness to obey his Elohiym Yahweh, Abraham had once again proven that he would relinquish that which was most precious to him, his only heir (Genesis 22:16 and the same for Yahweh John 3:16). Yahweh did not, nor would He ever want Abraham’s son as a sacrifice. He did want to know unconditionally if Abraham TRUSTED Him enough to make the hardest choice Yahweh could place before him. As we know, Abraham passed the test. (Are you passing the tests that Yahweh is placing in front of you?)
Third, Abraham’s behavior thus demonstrated he was a man fit for the role of “father of all those who believe” (Romans 4:11-12; Galatians 3:9; Hebrews 11:17-19), that he was the only suitable founder of the family of countless descendants who would become the Race of Yahweh (Genesis 18:19).
Yahweh could not complete the plan He set forth via Abraham, without involving the problem of human sin, and that problem would later require the sacrifice of our Redeemer, Yahshua the Messiah, the one and only lamb of Yahweh (John 1:29).
The unconditional commitment of Yahweh
Now, at this particular moment in time, Yahweh’s promises to Abraham, both the physical and spiritual have become unconditional. His words, “And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son” (Genesis 22:16), shows us that the fulfillment of the promises no longer will be dependent on Abraham. The fulfillment of the promises would now depend solely on Yahweh Himself. He unconditionally committed Himself to bring all of His promises to Abraham and his descendants. Yahweh thus, puts His own truthfulness and integrity on the line with these commitments. He also unconditionally bound Himself to bring forth ALL of His promises to pass on in all their details.
Because we now have a better understanding of the unconditional nature of Yahweh’s promises, we have a much better picture of what to look for through the history concerning the descendants of ancient Israel. Since Yahweh cannot annul His promise to Abraham because He will not break His word (Numbers 23:19), every single detail in His promises becomes a guide in our search for the identity of the lost tribes of Israel after their exile. I am referencing the 10 tribes, as we know of the location of the other 2.
Genesis 22 concludes with our Lord Yahweh restating the central elements of His commitment to Abraham; “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies” (Genesis 22:17). These national, physical and material blessings continue as clues to the true identity of Abraham’s modern descendants or seedline as it were.
Yahweh thus continued, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Genesis 22:18). The apostle Paul, while commenting on this verse, many centuries later in Galatians 3:16, explains that this promised blessing refers to Yahshua the Messiah; “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many [referencing Abraham’s seed as many]; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ”. Notice that he does not say “seeds” in reference to Abraham, as referring to many, but rather to one. Through Yahshua, as the Seed of Abraham, Yahweh would make salvation available to the seedline of Abraham, a common misconception among the jewdeo-Christian community is that this is to all of humanity, which this verse clearly DOES NOT SAY!
Promises renewed unto Isaac
The promises that were made to Abraham, Yahweh also made available to those in his subsequent generations. Isaac, had this reconfirmed covenant by Yahweh in (Genesis 26: 1-5) and subsequently to his son (Abraham’s grandson) Jacob in (Genesis 27: 26-29; 28: 1-4; 10-14; 35: 9-12).
Via Jacob Yahweh thus passed the national and material aspects of His promises (covenant) on to the descendants of Abraham’s great-great-grandsons, which are known as Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph (reference Genesis 48: 1-22). The Holy Scriptures, records in some great detail and sometimes not, how these promises or covenants of blessings pass from generation to generation, is yet more evidence that Yahweh’s covenant with Abraham includes the physical, material and national aspects outside of the vitally important messianic [primarily means “of the Messiah”, a religious savior in Abrahamic True Biblical Israelite religions] prophecies.
Yahweh’s promise unto Isaac that “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;” (Genesis 26: 3-4) implies a great material blessing. Yahweh, also promised unto him, as He did with Abraham, almost limitless descendants, telling him that his descendants would “And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;” (Genesis 26:4).
Please read the following very carefully, This promise would be fulfilled by the time the several million True Biblical Israelites reached Mount Sinai under Moses’ direction (given from Yahweh) and leadership, and also later at the time of Solomon (Deuteronomy 1:10; I Kings 4:20-21). Moses himself knew that the blessings of great multitudes were to be multiplied many times over what had already occurred by his time (Deuteronomy 1:11).