Day 4 – Illuminate the Promise: A Nation. A Seed. A People.

Advent 2021 Day 4 Devo Image

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.”—Genesis 12:2–3 (NIV)

The origin of God’s redemptive narrative to bring salvation to the world starts with Abram, a 75-year-old man with no children. God appears to Abram (whom He later changes his name to Abraham) calling him to leave his land and people. In essence, God asks Abraham to leave his security and identity in order for God to become his security and to grant him (and his descendants) a new identity. God promises to bless him and, through him, the entire world.

God’s promises are guaranteed, but not on our terms or timing. After 25 years of waiting, God was faithful to complete His promise to Abraham by giving him the son of the promise, Isaac. At last, Abraham received what he had long waited for. Years later, God unexpectedly asks Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son. Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice Isaac would foreshadow the means by which God would bring redemption and blessing to the entire world—on a hill two millennia later, God’s son, Jesus, would be sacrificed to bring blessing upon the entire world.

God’s mission to bring salvation to the world would include all of Abraham’s posterity. The promise continued with Abraham’s son Isaac, who bore two sons. Isaac’s son, Jacob, went on to bare twelve sons, whose children would grow into a nation, just as the Lord had promised. But God’s promise did not stop with Israel.

Nearly 2,000 years following God’s spoken promise to Abraham, the heavens rejoiced as the world witnessed the birth of Abraham’s greatest descendant—and God’s ultimate promise—Jesus! The birth of Jesus is the culmination of God’s promise to Abraham and to all mankind. Our faithful Promise Keeper fulfilled His promise to bring redemption from sin to all the people of the world by sending us His son. Jesus, our promise and gift, redeemed us through His life, death, and resurrection. In Christ, God made all who would receive Jesus beneficiaries of His promise of salvation. In Him, God would establish a new kingdom and people, and through this all the world would be blessed.

We’re now the bearers of this promise! All the families and nations of the world come together in Christ, as His people. We’re now co-heirs and children of God, called like Abraham to forfeit our earthly means of security and identity in order to embrace our new life in Christ. We’re called to be carriers of God’s blessing, to give to others as we’ve received from Him. We’re also called to be ambassadors of His promise, to proclaim the gospel to those who are far from God. As Abraham was called, we, God’s chosen people, are also called to be a blessing to others; that all the world may be filled with the glory of God.

When God first spoke to Abraham, I wonder what came to his mind. God promised him something that to an older man without children might seem ludicrous! All the more absurd is that God didn’t intend to only birth a nation through Abraham’s seed, but to bring salvation to a lost world and graft all the peoples of the world into one family. God’s plans are not something any of us can predict in our wildest imagination, nor do they come in our desired timing or way. But as surely as the sun rises every morning, so do God’s promises come to fruition.

This advent season, may we remember God’s faithfulness in sending Jesus, rejoice that God’s promise has come to fruition, and respond like Abraham with faith and obedience by taking the message of the gospel to a world in need. God’s promise was given to Abraham, fulfilled in Christ, and bestowed on the Church. His promise now continues through you and me.

About the Author

Gabriella Silva

Gabriella Silva serves as a volunteer for Calvary’s communications and worship teams. She holds an M.A. in psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is passionate about integrating her knowledge of human behavior with the truth of God’s word. When she is not writing resources or singing at church, Gabi loves to paint, cook, and enjoy time outdoors with her family and friends.

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