And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
Genesis 12:1-3 is one of the most important passages in the Bible. This passage marks a new beginning in God’s dealings with man. God chooses a man, Abraham, to begin a people, a people whom God will use to bless all people.
In verse 1, God commands Abraham to leave everything. Then, in the next two verses God gives him seven promises – each promise pregnant with implications.
Let’s look at the promises, four in verse 2 and three more in verse 3.
I will make of you a great nation. Considering the fact that Abraham was 75 years old with no children and a barren wife, this is quite a promise! But it’s just like God, who delights in doing the impossible.
And against all odds, it happened. In fact, the nation of Israel still exists today, some 4,000 years later, with a power and influence far beyond its size.
I will bless you. God richly blessed Abraham for the rest of his life. In fact, he becomes the most important man in the Old Testament and then appears in the New Testament more than any other Old Testament figure. Abraham is the father of the Jews and the greatest example of faith in all the Bible. Yes, God blessed him!
And make your name great. Has this happened? Yes. This unknown man, a childless nomad, is known and revered throughout the world today, four millennia later, by Christians, Jews and Muslims.
When we exalt ourselves (like the people of Babel in Genesis 11, who cried “Let us make a name for ourselves”), then God humbles us. When we humble ourselves, then God exalts us. Every time.
You will be a blessing. God blessed Abraham so that he could be a blessing to others. That’s why he blesses you and me also, so we too can be a blessing to others. You are a river, not a reservoir. Each day go out looking for people to bless. Go out looking to bring God’s love and hope to the people you encounter.