Many Descendants

“Abraham had taken another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Ashurites, the Letushites and the Leummites. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah. Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.”—Genesis 25:1-6 (NIV)

Warren Wiersbe wrote, “Abraham left his material wealth to his family and his spiritual wealth to the whole world, all who would believe on Jesus Christ”. 

How beautiful. 

How beautiful that Abraham experienced the satisfying wealth of a God-fearing life (Genesis 25:8). How spectacular was the life of this man of faith—that even through his missteps we see God was faithful, and His promises were true. Oswald Chambers recalls of Abraham that “the life of Abraham is an illustration of two things: of unreserved surrender to God, and of God’s complete possession of a child of His for His own highest end.”

And what was this “highest end”? It was a promise made to Abraham that he would be a father of many nations (Genesis 17:4). Indeed, he is. The three major faiths in the world, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all consider Abraham their founding father. His presence is seen in the Bible as well as the Quran. His descendants are scattered throughout the world. Bruce Feiler in his series Walking the Bible portrays Abraham as “a vast underground aquifer that stretches from Mesopotamia to the Nile, from Jerusalem to Mecca, from Kandahar to Kansas City. He’s an ever-present, ever-flowing stream that represents the basic desire all people have to form a union with God." Truly, God’s highest end is to have a relationship with His people.

But there is more. God’s highest end was to bless Abraham, and that through him all nations will be blessed (Genesis 12:2, 18:18). This purpose is founded through the nation of Israel but finds fulfillment in the Gentile nations when the Gospel of Jesus spreads among them. His blessings spill over to those who believe in Jesus so we will “know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people” (Ephesians 1:18 NIV). And that inheritance, that hope, is Jesus. God’s highest end is for us to know and follow Jesus. 

Finally, God’s highest end was land for Abraham and His people (Genesis 12:1, Hebrews 11:8). Even now as nations battle over the Promised Land, God sits upon His throne with His initial desire that His dwelling place is with us; we will be His people, and God Himself will be with us (Ezekiel 37:27, Revelation 21:3). In the new heaven and earth, the ultimate Promised Land, we will always be with the Lord. God’s highest end is to live among us. 

Indeed, how beautiful is the God Most High and praise Him to His highest end!

DIG: What three promises did God give to Abraham to signify His highest end?

DISCOVER: How does God’s highest end extend to us?

DO: With an inheritance so rich, how can you walk in it so God’s blessings, spiritual wealth, and highest end can be extended to your children and grandchildren?

About the Author

Lisa Supp

Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.