Covenants in the Bible

Lesson 04 - All Of The Families Of The Earth

One of the characters in the Bible who exemplified the concept of righteousness by faith was Abraham. Today we are going to study the covenant God made with Abraham and also examine the effect this covenant had on the way Abraham lived his life.

Let's turn to Genesis 12:1-6 and read together.

One of the first things you should notice in this passage is that God called out Abram (as he was known before God changed his name to Abraham) out of his comfort zone to go on a journey with Him. Abram did not know where he was going, but he stepped out in faith and left his country to follow God wherever He may lead.

God not only promised to bless Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 12:2), but He also promised to bless the entire world through Abraham (Genesis 12:3)!

Let’s turn to Genesis 15:1-6 and read together.

God repeats His covenant with Abraham. Even though Abraham still did not have a child at this point, God promised that Abraham would have an heir that came from his own body.

In this passage we see the reason why Abraham was considered a righteous man. Abraham’s righteousness came from his belief in God. Abraham had faith that God would keep His promise. The Bible tells us plainly that we can have righteousness by faith just like Abraham if we believe in God and His word (Romans 4:3, 9, 13; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23).

The faith Abraham had in God was not merely a passive faith, but it was a faith that was backed by action. Wherever Abraham went, he built an altar to God and called upon the name of the Lord (Genesis 12:7-8; 13:4, 18; 22:9). In building these altars, Abraham was not only witnessing to his family about God (Genesis 18:19), he was also witnessing to people around him. Abraham was sharing what God had preached to him first (Galatians 3:6-9)!

Abraham and Sarah acted upon their faith in God’s promise and when Abraham was a hundred years old, Sarah miraculously conceived a son whom they named Isaac (Genesis 21:1-4; Hebrews 11:8-11). Isaac was indeed a miracle baby!

Let’s turn to Genesis 22:1-18 and read together.

God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah. Why would God ask such a thing of Abraham, who demonstrated his faith in God time and time again? It was the ultimate test of faith for Abraham. Did Abraham love God even more than his precious son Isaac?

When Abraham heeded God’s command and was about to sacrifice Isaac, Jesus came down and stopped Abraham. Jesus provided Abraham a substitute sacrifice. Abraham demonstrated that true faith involved obedience and sacrifice. Abraham believed God would honor the covenant He made with him. Just as Abraham had the faith that God would provide him with a child, Abraham showed the faith that God could resurrect his child, even though no one had ever been resurrected from the dead up to that point in history.

Through Abraham’s willingness to give back to God the blessing he first received, all the families of the earth were indeed blessed. Through Abraham’s faith, one of his descendants was Jesus come in the flesh. Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, the entire world received a chance at redemption (John 3:16).

God’s covenant with Abraham teaches us that we can attain righteousness by faith if we believe in God. We also learn that we must have an active faith that works to reach out and share the Gospel with others around us. True faith involves obedience and sacrifice, but ultimately God will provide if we believe. True faith blesses those around us. Friend, will you share your blessings with others around you?

Happy Sabbath!

A Short Prayer