The promise to all nations - Old Testament
Genesis 12 v 2-3
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.
John 3 v 16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
In the Old Testament and in the New Testament, God is reaching out to all mankind with his message of inclusion and salvation.
The Promise through Abraham
Genesis 17 v 1-5
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
Abram fell face down, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.
No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations....”
Genesis 18 v 18-19
Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.
For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about what he has promised him.
Abraham offers up Isaac on the altar
Genesis 22 v 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 descendants 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.
The Promise through Isaac
Genesis 26 v 23-24
From there he went up to Beersheba. 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 increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”
The Promise through Jacob
Genesis 28 v 12-15
He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.
Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east., to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
The promise through Moses
Exodus 6 v 2-8
God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens.
Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. Therefore say to the Israelites: I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgement. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.”
God dwelling with his people
The Tabernacle - God in the midst
Exodus 29 v 46
I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.
God is sovereign
2 Samuel 7 v 22
How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.
And who is like your people Israel – The one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt?
You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, O Lord, have become their God.
Israel - A beacon for All Nations
2 Chronicles 6 v 33
As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm – when he comes and prays toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your name.
The Exile to Babylon
In the years leading up to the exile of the remnant of Israel to Babylon, the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah had turned away from God. They had disobeyed his commands and blatantly disregarded his law.
Following on from the ‘Golden Age’ of Saul, David and Solomon, there was a prolonged period of ‘good king – bad king’ as detailed in the books of Kings and Chronicles.
The nation had fallen away so far from God that he had abandoned them to the curse that he warned them about in Leviticus chapter 26; The Blessing v 1-13 and The Curse v 14-46
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