God’s Blessing of Abram: War

Posted: 01.29.2010 in war
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<This is the third in a series that I started a bit ago and needed to get away from because I was getting bogged down in it.  I think the extra time has yielded something better than if I had pushed through.>

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.  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 12:1-3

God’s end game is laid out right here:  That everyone on the planet would be blessed through Abram.  There are questions about timing here.  Did God just mean in Abram’s lifetime?  As I have commonly heard and understood, these verses refer to the eventual coming of Jesus through Abram’s people.  But, maybe it refers to the second coming of Christ.  Or maybe it has a multiplicity of meanings.  It would not be the first time for a piece of scripture to be layered in meaning. God is as mysterious as He is good.  What is clear is that God sets Abram apart for the sole purpose of blessing the entire world.  Not just the Jews.  Not just the righteous.  The whole world.

The way that God gets to the fullness or completion of the blessing  is also laid out: He will bless those who bless Abram and curse those who curse Abram.  Sounds very karmic, doesn’t it.  There are no promises of ease, no promises of protection even.  Just that Abram needs to know that if anyone messes with him, God will mess with them. 

God will war on Abram’s behalf, and that even in His warring, there is a seed of blessing for the people of the earth.  Could it be that the curse of God is not merely for punishment/destruction’s sake, but ultimately acts as a pruning for the world at large?  That the curse of God somehow enables the world to receive the blessing He has?  If this is true, than the the whole karmic piece is blown to hell as God moves through everything (blessing and cursing) towards His desire to bless everyone.

What say you?

  1. Anto says:

    Being a follower of Christ is not easy but God promised He will be with us through the various obstacles of life. God With Us …

  2. bethany says:

    i think its both a momentary blessing but also a generational blessing.

  3. It is interesting, and a little bewildering, to see how “God warring on Abram’s behalf” plays out. When he is afraid and pretends his wife is his sister (Genesis 20,) God “wars on his behalf” and Abimelech and all his men get sick – though they don’t appear to have done anything wrong. Abram must call off God’s wrath against them, though it is Abram who has sinned against God. (If I remember right, This happens twice with Abraham, and then again with Isaac.)

    And then God “wars” against Sodom and Gomorrah, and again it is Abraham who cries for mercy on their behalf.

    God doesn’t appear to actually war on his behalf (in the most literal way) for a solid 500 years – until the Exodus and arrival in the Promised Land. And until then, Abraham and his descendants are exiles, wanderers, aliens, sojourners and slaves.

    • Yeah, God is weird. The whole cursing/warring thing is really intriguing. You do get a clearer sense of God’s blessing of Abram than of God’s cursing of his enemies. And the parts where Abram gets scared and offers his wife to cover his butt leaves a lot open to think about with the nature of God’s relationship with Abram. Does God privately facepalm before he rescues Abram and Sarai from Abram’s cowardice, or is there an element of almost blind loyalty on God’s part towards Abram and Sarai? Abram’s narrative and relationship with God are really interesting.

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