The Blessing of Abraham, as promised by God in Genesis 12:1–3, was a divine pledge to make Abraham a great nation, grant him many descendants, and appoint him as a means through which all the families of the earth would find blessings. Old covenant Israel didn’t fully realize these promises due to their failure to be a light to other nations, leading to their exile.
Nonetheless, God, out of His faithfulness to the covenant with Abraham, called a faithful remnant to remember Abraham’s faith and trust in God’s impossible works. The Blessing of Abraham symbolizes God’s gracious heavenly gift, forming a new nation on earth. It’s worth noting that in some instances, this blessing is misused in prosperity theology to suggest that contemporary believers can attain the same wealth and success as Abraham.
God’s original promise to Abraham included making him great, granting him numerous descendants, and designating him as the conduit for blessing all families on earth (Genesis 12:1–3). However, these promises were not fully realized by Old covenant Israel due to their failure to be a guiding light to other nations.
Instead, many Israelites adopted the customs of nations that were expelled by the Lord, resulting in God’s expulsion of the nation from their land (2 Kings 17:8). Yet, in His mercy and faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham, God called a faithful remnant to remember Abraham’s faith and the miraculous works of God. This encouraged them to anticipate similar actions by Yahweh in fulfilling His promise to bless the entire earth (Isaiah 51:1–5).
Galatians 3:14 in the New Testament of the Bible states:
“He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”
This verse highlights the redemptive work of Christ and how it extends the blessings promised to Abraham to the Gentiles through faith in Jesus Christ. It underscores the inclusive nature of the gospel, where people from all backgrounds can partake in the blessings through faith.
What is the Blessing of Abraham?
The historical context of blessing of Abraham or Abraham’s blessing is outlined in Genesis 12:1–3. God’s promise to Abraham includes making him into a great nation with numerous descendants, elevating his name and reputation, and assuring that those who bless him will be blessed, while those who curse him will face consequences.
Furthermore, Abraham is designated to be a source of blessings to others. This blessing of Abraham ultimately finds its fulfilment in Jesus Christ, who is referred to as the “Seed” of Abraham in Galatians 3:16, and is recognized as the Redeemer of the world, through whom all nations on earth receive the ultimate blessing.
“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “‘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.’”
What are the 7 blessings of Abraham?
From the above scripture the seven blessings often associated with the Abrahamic covenant or the Blessing of Abraham are:
- Great Nation: God promised to make Abraham the father of a great nation.
- Numerous Descendants: Abraham was assured of having numerous descendants, as numerous as the stars in the sky.
- Promise Land: God pledged to give Abraham and his descendants the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession.
- Name Greatness: Abraham was told that his name would be made great.
- Blessing for Others: God said that Abraham would be a blessing to others.
- Protection and Favour: Those who blessed Abraham would be blessed, and those who cursed him would be cursed.
- Universal Blessing: Most importantly, God promised that all the families on the earth would be blessed through Abraham, indicating a universal, spiritual blessing.
These blessings are derived from the promises and covenants made between God and Abraham, as described in the book of Genesis in the Bible.
Is Abraham blessed to be a blessing?
Absolutely, according to the above context, Abraham was blessed by God with the explicit purpose of being a blessing to others. The promise is clear that those who bless Abraham will themselves be blessed. This concept of being blessed to be a blessing is a fundamental theme in the Abrahamic covenant, emphasizing the idea of God’s chosen people serving as a conduit of blessings to the world.
The concept of “blessed to be a blessing” originates from Genesis 12 in the Bible. In this chapter, God’s promise to Abraham is that he will be blessed, and in turn, he will become a blessing to others. This idea signifies that the blessings one receives are not solely for personal gain but also to be shared with and benefit others. It’s a fundamental principle in many faith traditions, emphasizing the importance of generosity and kindness in the context of blessings received from a higher power.
The scriptural basis for the concept “blessed to be a blessing” can be found in Genesis 12:2, where God says to Abraham:
“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.”
This verse signifies the idea that Abraham was not only blessed for his own sake but also to be a source of blessing to others. It encapsulates the principle that blessings received should be shared and used to benefit those around us, reflecting a sense of responsibility to give back and make a positive impact on the world.
Why did God Bless Abraham?
As individuals like Mary and Zechariah recognized, God’s work through Christ Jesus brought the fulfilment of His covenant with Abraham (Luke 1:46–80). The apostle Paul, as explained in today’s passage, emphasizes that the blessing God promised to bring about through Abraham and his descendants is now accessible to all the families of the earth through faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:7–9). What’s truly remarkable about Paul’s teaching is that those who trust in Jesus from all corners of the world are not considered outsiders but full members of the Abrahamic family.
Under the old covenant, the prophets made it clear that God’s salvation would extend to all nations. However, what becomes even clearer under the new covenant is that people from every nation are not considered second-class citizens in the kingdom of heaven. Instead, they are incorporated into the Israel of God, a community of believers who trust in Christ, regardless of whether they are of Jewish or Gentile heritage (v. 29). This emphasizes the inclusive and unifying nature of the gospel message.
So one could infer that God indeed had a future in his mind and to fulfil the future promise of blessing the whole mankind He needed an initiation or one can say a starting point and Abraham is the lucky champ.
Time line of the Abrahamic Blessing
Bible unfolds the fulfilment and advancement of the promises and blessings of Abraham or Abrahamic Blessing. In Genesis, we witness Abraham gaining a great reputation, and despite his initial lack of hope for children, his descendants multiply.
By Exodus 1, the Israelites, the children of Abraham, have become a great people. The subsequent books, from Exodus to Joshua, detail how they evolved into a nation with their own land and laws.
The books of Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel delve into the leadership of the nation under a monarchy, establishing the Davidic dynasty. Nevertheless, the course of events takes a downturn, with people breaking God’s laws and turning to other deities.
Often, the kings do not rule as God’s faithful representatives but follow their own desires. God’s prophets warn of impending judgment and the risk of losing their land. These same prophets also allude to more significant developments, including the emergence of an ideal Davidic ruler who would not only govern Israel but the entire world. Remarkably, Gentiles are hinted to be part of this kingdom, as seen in passages such as Isaiah 9.
When Jesus arrived, all the pieces of God’s plan began to align. Jesus is the Davidic Messiah, destined to rule not only over Israel but the entire world, as seen in Revelation 19:15. Anyone, whether Gentile or Jew, who turns to Him in repentance and faith becomes part of His kingdom. Those who reject Him, however, are excluded.
Paul, as a prominent apostle, played a crucial role in spreading the good news (the gospel) to the Gentiles. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul emphasizes the significance of grace in contrast to strict adherence to the law. He highlights that Abraham’s justification by faith, as mentioned in Genesis 15:6, occurred long before the giving of the Mosaic law, around 430 years earlier (Galatians 3:17).
In verse 7, Paul explains that those who have the kind of faith Abraham had are the true children of Abraham, even if they are Gentiles. This marks the realization of the Blessing of Abraham and God’s promise that through Abraham, all peoples, including Gentiles, would receive blessings.
The Blessing of Abraham encompassed not only immediate personal benefits for Abraham in the ancient world, such as respect, health, and numerous descendants but also had a profound and far-reaching impact. Through Abraham, the whole world received a blessing because Jesus, a descendant of Abraham, brought salvation to all people, whether Jew or Gentile. In Christ, we inherit the spiritual blessing of justification, much like Abraham did, as noted in Galatians 3:29.
However, it’s important to be aware that there are some teachers in the Word of Faith movement who interpret the blessing of Abraham in an extensive and literal sense. They claim that, as “Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29), Christians can possess all the material, financial, physical, and spiritual blessings that Abraham experienced.
This interpretation varies, with some suggesting a three-fold blessing (material, physical, and spiritual) and others proposing a seven-fold blessing, encompassing fame, recognition, and protection, among other things.
Also Read: How Old Were The Disciples of Jesus?
7 fold blessing & 3 fold Blessing of Abraham
In some teachings within the Word of Faith movement, there are different interpretations of the blessings of Abraham applied to contemporary Christians:
- Three-Fold Blessing: Some proponents see a three-fold blessing, encompassing material or financial blessings, physical well-being, and spiritual blessings. In this view, these aspects of Abraham’s blessing or Blessing of Abraham are considered attainable for Christians today.
- Seven-Fold Blessing: Others emphasize a seven-fold blessing of Abraham, which includes the following aspects:
- Becoming a great nation,
- Receiving personal blessings,
- Achieving fame and recognition,
- Becoming a source of blessing to others,
- Blessings for those who bless you,
- Consequences for those who curse you,
- A blessing for all the peoples of the earth.
In these interpretations, the promises made to Abraham are directly applied to modern-day Christians. The expected outcomes encompass not only spiritual blessings but also physical and material prosperity, protection, fame, and recognition, among other things. It’s essential to recognize that these interpretations vary among theologians and denominations, and not all Christians share these particular views on the blessings of Abraham.
There are some who misinterpret Scripture and engage in the practice of “decreeing and declaring” the Blessing of Abraham over themselves. This belief is based on the idea that by doing so, they will receive the seven-fold blessings originally promised to Abraham, which include becoming a great nation, personal blessings, fame, being a source of blessing to others, receiving blessings for those who bless them, experiencing consequences for those who curse them, and being a source of blessing for all people on earth.
However, it’s crucial to recognize that the Blessing of Abraham was given to Abraham, a specific historical individual, for a specific purpose. Attempting to insert oneself into this biblical narrative can lead to misinterpretation and theological error. The central theme of Galatians 3 is justification by faith. The apostle Paul’s teaching doesn’t assert that Christians have a “right” to material prosperity and an easy life. Instead, he emphasizes that those who have faith are counted as children of Abraham and share in his blessing of justification.
In essence, the blessing of Abraham that contemporary believers partake in is the blessing of being justified by faith in Christ. It’s a spiritual blessing rather than a promise of material wealth or ease. This distinction is vital in understanding the biblical perspective on the Blessing of Abraham.
Martin Luther’s commentary on today’s passage underscores the importance of apprehending and relying on the justifying and saving Christ. Much like Abraham, who embraced Christ through faith and received blessings, we also experience deliverance from the penalty and power of our sins when we trust in Jesus.
However, this deliverance is only the beginning of the Abrahamic blessings or Blessing of Abraham that we, as believers, partake in. In addition to being freed from sin, we inherit a promised land that extends beyond Canaan. It encompasses a “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13), emphasizing that through Christ, we receive not only forgiveness but also the promise of eternal life and righteousness in a new creation.
Hope this article has given an in depth knowledge on What is the Blessing of Abraham? If you are still having any doubts regarding the Blessing of Abraham you have two options out of which I suggest the first one, which is nothing but to pray to the Lord Almighty for guidance and understanding and second is you have a comment box below which could just suffice your need to some extent.
Some people who believe in prosperity gospel do think Blessing of Abraham is what a believer should have as an heir of salvation but not to be deprived of such blessing. Instead of debating if Blessing of Abraham is for us or not I suggest you to pray and ask God for a definite direction.