Descendant of Abraham
“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 12:3 NIV
“I will surely bless you and makes your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22:14 NIV
“Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”
Genesis 28:14 NIV
I don’t know about you, but it feels like, more so than the past few years, that there are a LOT of Christmas lights out on display in people’s houses and yards. Intricately strung lights, figurines, and LED displays light up the night to truly turn towns across the country into a Winter Wonderland.
Now, none of these beautiful displays simply appear overnight. Each of these displays takes hours of time planning, purchasing any new lights, and assembling. For some, this process is as simple as getting the Christmas lights box out of your attic or crawl space, going outside, and then stranding lights around the yard only to find that half of them no longer work.
Others, however, have to almost have a map of where they are placing each specific part of the display. One of my neighbors has one of the best Christmas displays in the area and is consistently nominated as one of the best displays in the township. This display takes hours of setup over several days for him. There are giant candy cane arches set over his driveway, stationary fixtures of the nativity, snowmen, and nutcrackers. There are also so many inflatables and lights that he had to purchase a backup generator specifically to put the lights on every year. But for the final piece of the display every year, he climbs up to the roof of his house to string together Santa Claus and his reindeer, flying off into the distance over his house.
The first night every year, when his display turns on, is always magnificent as the street lights up in a flurry of greens, reds, and whites.
A display of such beauty and light takes time to be put into place. The time waiting and the expectation for that first display only heightens the impact when the vision is finally realized.
In the days of Abraham, the Lord made a promise to Abraham that “all peoples on earth will be blessed” through him. This promise would be repeated and reinforced by the Lord time and again to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob over the years, eventually being passed down from generation to generation of the Israelites.
This promise is one that the Israelites would wait expectantly for from generation to generation.
Over the years, the Israelites became numerous in numbers, becoming a great nation and taking possession of their enemy’s land and cities while slowly expanding their reach. Perhaps no better period could describe this great expansion than the time of King David. Fourteen generations after Abraham and God’s original promise, David, a lowly shepherd boy, became King of Israel. Under David's rule, Israel destroyed every enemy in their path, bringing prosperity that would last throughout the life of David's son, Solomon, and his reign over the land.
Fourteen generations later, Israel, now split into two nations, fell at the hands of the Babylonians. Subject to foreign rule, many Israelites were exiled to the capital of Babylon. The original promise that all nations would be blessed through Abraham now seemed like a pipe dream as Abraham's descendants were left feeling low, abandoned, and powerless.
Another fourteen generations down the line, Israel slowly became used to foreign subjugation, now under occupation by the Roman Empire. After a Roman census called all Israelites to return to their hometowns, a young couple, Mary and Joseph had to return to Joseph's hometown. Pregnant under dubious circumstances, no inn had room for them as they were forced to give birth to their child alone, in a stable, on a cold night, feeling low, abandoned, and powerless in their situation.
That very night, God's promise to Abraham 42 generations prior came to pass in the birth of Jesus, a small child whose life on earth would become the ultimate blessing to all who believe in Him.
“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham,”
“Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.”
Matthew 1:1,17 NIV