Last week I started transcribing my grandfather's booklet on prophecy. Today I'm transcribing half of the second section of the booklet.
II. God Chooses Abraham and Gives Him Four Promises.
These promises according to Genesis 12:1-4 seem to have been made to Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees before he left home for the land of Canaan which later would be the Holy Land of the Bible. These promises would not and had not set aside the much earlier promise to Adam and Eve of the Kinsman-Redeemer. After they were driven out of the garden sin and people had multiplied until finally the Earth was full of violence (Genesis 6:13). Yet God was not dead nor His promise broken nor cancelled. In calling Abraham and giving him the four promises God was setting up the earthly machinery for the fulfillment of this promise to Adam and Eve, given nearly two millenniums previously.
While Abraham received his call at home when his name was Abram and when he was yet childless, yet he must make some separations before God could begin the fulfillment of these promises to him. He must let go of his country, a godless, idolatrous world, his relatives on both sides of the house—thy kindred—and his immediate family—thy father’s house—and accept an unknown country with resultant conditions which would arise in the future—the yes to an unknown bundle. When he started to carry out the conditions of his call he halted at Haran in Mesopotamia with the excess baggage of a brother's son—Lot. Here his aging and possibly ailing father Terah finally died, being an old man of 205 years. With this death Abram was now about ready to enter the Promised Land which suggests the truth that the old man of sin must die before the believer can enter the Canaan or Promised Land of Holiness. Upon his entrance his first stop mentioned in Genesis was at Sichem afterwards called Shechem where Joshua later said, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord” and where Abram’s greater son, Jesus Christ saved the woman at the well of Sychar. Here he began his Canaan experience with an altar service and probably with prayer. Genesis 12:6-8. Here God refers to the second one of his four promises to Abram and probably included the others also.
Promise One:- Make Abraham A Great Nation
The first of these what was that God would make Abram a Great Nation. Farther over in Genesis (13:16 and 17:4) we learn that many nations were to come out of the loins of Abram but the promises applied more especially to the descent through Isaac the son of Sarah (the princess). These descendants were the dust of the earth promise (Genesis 13:16). The stars of the heaven promise (chapter 15:5) would be Abram's spiritual posterity, many of whom would come through the church under promise three. This nation through Isaac was to be three things: First it was to be a storehouse for the Holy Scriptures—God’s redemptive truth to man. Second it was to be the channel through which the Messiah—the Lord Jesus—was to come. Third this nation was to be a witness for Jehovah God before and unto the nations of the earth. It carried out the first two but failed on the third one.
In order for God to start the process for making Abram—later called Abraham meaning father of a great multitude—a great nation, He had to rule and overrule in some unusual ways in Abraham's own family as well as in the affairs of nations. He turned the envy and hatred of Abraham's great grandchildren against their own brother Joseph so as to put Joseph in a position where the latter could save the lives of the family and many others. Later God sent a very sore famine into many lands and into Canaan in order to cause Jacob and his seventy-four souls to move into Egypt where God could get the building of the Israelitish nation well under way. After about four hundred years of servitude and multiplication of the people in Egypt God was now able and ready to institute the beginning proceedings of the First Promise of Making Abraham a Great Nation and of arranging for the Second Promise. We may consider the nation as formed and the First Promise first fulfilled with the giving of the Law at Sinai.
On to the second promise next Tuesday. Some very interesting typological interpretation here.