Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 12:1-3; ESV
One of the results of a promise is hope. If a father promises his son that he will attend the son’s basketball game the son has hope that he will see his father there. Promises give people hope.
This is very important to remember because life without God is a hopeless experience. We live in a world that is messed up with evil, sin, and death. In a world without God death is the ultimate reality for all of us, and that is true no matter how rich or how moral we are. Death will eventually rob us of all that we have.
We have to understand the hopelessness of life to appreciate the hope found in God’s promise. The promise God made to Abram (whose name was changed to Abraham) is that all the nations of the earth will be blessed through his descendant. This was not a promise that was limited to a few people, but this was a promise for the entire world.
The Old Testament is the written account of God using one specific nation to bring about His promise. A promise that God fulfilled one night in the small village of Bethlehem when angels proclaimed the birth of that descendant of Abraham through whom God promised to bless all the nations of the world.
The promise God gave to Abraham provided the people of Israel hope that one day God would come and make everything right. Even in exile there was hope because the prophets reminded the Israelites of God’s promise.
The fact that God kept His promise by sending Jesus gives us hope that one day Jesus will return and we will finally experience life the way God intended it to be lived.
This is the point I want you to ponder today: At Christmas we celebrate the promise God kept.