“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

He was just an obscure shepherd. His family and his story suddenly appear in scripture out of nowhere. Abraham was untested when God promised him that he would be father of a great nation. In fact this promise was made before Abraham lied to the Pharaoh by telling him Sarah (his wife) was his sister to save his own skin (he did this twice), slept with his maid to produce his first son and abandoned his first son! Yet Romans tells us that Abraham believed in God and it was his belief, not his worthiness the caused God to look upon him as righteous.

Abraham was also chosen to be a blessing. God’s blessing upon Abraham resulted in those around him being blest. The source of this blessing was God’s work, not Abrahams. He did nothing to solicit the blessing others received nor did he do anything to deserve God’s using him as a tool of blessing. Scripture implies that Abraham really had no part in who was blest or who was not.

God’s protection was upon Abraham. Those that cursed Abraham were cursed by God. Again, Abraham had no part in this. When God’s protection is upon us we have no need to defend ourselves. God’s protection does not mean we will not endure attack. It does not free us from adversity. It does not guarantee that tragedy will not be a part of our life. What it does mean is that when we trust in God fully, He will build a shield around us. Nothing can separate us from the love and protection of Almighty God.

While none of us will be ‘a father of a great nation’ there are lessons each of us can learn from this story. First of all, God doesn’t wait for you to clean up your act or prove yourself or get an education or reach a certain age or place in life before he can use you. He is able to use you no matter what your past, regardless of mistakes you have made or the place you find yourself in life.

Secondly, where ever you go. Whatever situation you find yourself in. Regardless of how you got to the place you are in life. God’s protection is upon you. He is a passionate lover who will go to any length to make sure you are protected. You have no need to defend yourself. It isn’t up to you to ‘get even’ with those who attack you. God will take care of them in His time, in His way.

Lastly, you are blessed by God. Abraham looked forward to the promise of a great nation and a son who would be an eternal King. You can look back to the coming of that promise in Jesus Christ. His love and forgiveness will carry you through today and tomorrow, just as it did yesterday. Not only can you look back to the cross, you can look forward to that day when Jesus will come again to right the wrong and to end death, sickness, greed and hatred forever.

PRAYER: Father God. I’m once again humbled as I realize how much You love me. Like Abraham I, in no way deserve the life you have given me in Jesus. I fail miserably in what I say, do and think. I get angry at those who mistreat me. I defend my actions and retaliate in my own subtle ways. I hereby give you permission to do what you do best; protect me from my enemies, rid me of the past guilt and shame and bless those around me by the life you live through me. Amen.