Saturday- Week 1
Updated: Dec 8, 2019
The Birth of Jesus Christ James
by James Tissot, 1895
“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
Verse 3 is the third part of a three-part covenant (Genesis 12:1-3).
What did Abraham have to do to obtain this promise?
[Though it might appear that this was conditioned on Abraham's actions ('go from your people..."), it does not begin with a conditional statement such as 'if you will go, then I will…' Though the Lord made the promise to Abraham, He made the covenant with Himself on Abraham's behalf and would fulfill it Himself (Read Genesis 15:12-20). Therefore, Abraham did not have to do anything to receive this covenant promise.*]
The second part of this verse is a promise of redemption.
[This was a promise of the Messiah who would be a descendant of Abraham and die for the sins of the whole world—thus the blessing of redemption for all people.]
For Further Discussion
God told Abraham that whoever curses him would be cursed. Christians often talk about being a blessing to others. It's something every Christian at least admits should be a part of their daily life.
Have you ever considered what it looks like to be a curse?
Have you ever considered that you may curse others by your attitudes, words or actions? What would that look like in your everyday life?
Close In Prayer
We can bless or curse people with our words as well as our actions. How about committing to bless as many people as you can during this holiday season-- with your words and with your actions? (Ephesians 2:10) You will probably find it a challenge, especially when you encounter rude shoppers and drivers, cranky store clerks, and exhausted, whiny children. But consider it a small 'gift' given back to the Saviour. Then challenge yourself to extend that Christ-like attitude of blessing throughout the year.
Part of mature Christian character is being consistent in our attitudes and actions towards others, especially those who are marginalized.
American Christianity tends to dismiss poverty and issues of poverty with the out-of-context statement that "the poor you will always have with you." **
This frees the mind from guilt about one's own pursuit of health and wealth and the 'American Dream,' and allows us to put more emphasis on peoples' spiritual poverty than their physical poverty. Most of all, it allows us to ignore our part and our government's (ie, elected officials') part in contributing to it.
If you really care about being a blessing to others, consider the following post: Caring for the Poor and Marginalized.
May I be a blessing to those around me, not just to those I like, or those who are like me. May I be a blessing to those who are unlikable, and diametrically different from m]e. May I seek to move out of my zones of comfort to do Your will. May I leave the holy huddle and follow radical paths of action for You.
Make A Joyful Sound!
Choose a song from Songs for Advent- Week 1 or choose your own.
* Abrahamic Covenant
** "It just so happens that in saying "The poor you will always have with you," Jesus was quoting another well-known Biblical phrase - from a well-known passage of the Jewish Torah. Everyone hearing him back then would have caught his drift. Here's the full original quote:
“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be...For the poor you will always have with you in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’" (Deut 15:7-11)
So, reading Jesus' words in their original context you can see that His words were meant to spur generosity towards the poor. "Open wide your hand!" The command to be open-handed towards the poor comes directly from Yahweh Himself."-- excerpted from What did Jesus really mean when he said, "The poor you will always have with you?"