First Reading: Genesis 12:1-4a

The Blessing of Abram

Did you ever move to a new community? What promise lay before you in your move? What the move worth the promise?

1 Now YHWH said to Abram,"Get out of your country, and from your relatives, and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you. All of the families of the earth will be blessed in you."

4 So Abram went, as YHWH had spoken to him. Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran.

World English Bible

These verses begin the high point of Genesis: the story of Abraham. Before this, the book narrated the fall of humanity: from disobedience, to murder, to universal corruption, to multiple languages. Genesis 1-11 described the world's chaotic condition at the time of the patriarch. These chapters ended with a genealogy that tied Shem, son of Adam, to Abram (later to be renamed "Abraham").

Genesis 12 opened with a call and a promise. If Abram left his country to follow his God, Abram would be blessed with land, progeny, and a great name. More important, he would receive universal blessing. His faith would reverse the tide of sin that separated peoples. Abram would be God's rallying point to reunite humanity.

In a sense, God's promise has been fulfilled. The three great Western religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all call Abraham "Father." Almost two billion people owe a spiritual allegiance to an ancient man who received the blessing of God.

How has God's promises been fulfilled in your life?