What Does Genesis 22:18 Mean?

"In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

Genesis 22:18(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

God made a covenant with Abraham back in Genesis 15, when the Lord asked him to leave his homeland and family and go to a land that He would show him. He also promised him a son and heir, who would come from his own body, and his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. Abraham believed God, and what joy and laughter he experienced when, twenty-five years later, his baby son, Issac, was born to Sarah. However,  in chapter 22 we read that the Lord tested Abraham when He asked him to offer up Isaac, his beloved son of promise, as a burnt offering to the Lord.

Abraham trusted God from the beginning, and his faith was credited to him as righteousness, but the Lord continued to build up his faith over many long years through various trials, temptations, and tests. Later, when Abraham set off to Mount Moriah and laid his beloved son on the altar, his inward faith in God's Word was demonstrated outwardly and openly by his actions. But as Abraham stretched out his hand for the knife, God called from heaven and graciously prevented him from killing his son, and reiterated His incredible promises to this faithful servant. 

It was after Abraham's display of faith in God, by offering his son on the altar, that the Lord restated His promise and said, "'By Myself, I have sworn,' says the LORD, 'because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, with blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.'" And the Lord concluded His promise by telling His servant, "in your Seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

In chapter 3 of his epistle to the Galatians, Paul explains the deeper meaning of this wonderful promise that would find its perfect fulfilment in the Lord Jesus Christ. "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed." Paul explains. "He does not say, 'and to seeds,' as though referring to many, but referring to ONE, and to your Seed, who is Christ."

Jesus was the 'Seed of the woman' promised to Eve in the garden Who would crush the serpent's head. Jesus was also the Seed about Whom the Lord spoke when He said to Abraham, "through your Seed all the families of the earth would be blessed." Jesus, the Seed of Abraham, was the sinless Son of God Who came to earth as the perfect Son of Man and Who willingly gave His life to pay the price for the sin of the world so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.

It is doubtful that Abraham was aware of the enormous and eternal significance of his actions, when he obeyed God and set out to Mount Moriah to offer his beloved son as a sacrificial offering to the Lord. It is unlikely that Isaac, who went willingly and without complaint with his father to sacrifice his life as an offering to the Lord, understood the picture his life was painting. And as Isaac carried the wood on his shoulders to the place of sacrifice and submitted himself to his father's will, he gave us an incredible picture of the journey taken by God the Father and Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, as He walked to Mount Calvary carrying the wooden cross on his shoulder to fulfil His Father's will.

Hebrews 11:1 clearly tells us: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," and Abraham, who is often called 'the father of faith', is a wonderful example of a man who trusted God's Word, even though most of the promises he hoped for would not be fulfilled until many centuries after his death. As members of Christ's Body, we are identified in Scripture as the spiritual seed of Abraham and if we are to learn the lesson of faith that Abraham demonstrated, we should lay aside all self-dependence and live our lives in total dependence on the Lord.

And how do we do this? Well, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Abraham's faith rested on the Lord Who made certain promises to him. Abraham believed God and acted on all that God had said, and those promises can be found in a few chapters in Genesis. We Christians have the full and final revelation of God in the completed Scriptures, which gives us many, many more precious promises. These promises come from the mouth of the same holy God and are all 'yes' and 'amen' in Christ Jesus our Saviour.

Should we not believe God's Word and trust in the promises of God completely, for without faith it is impossible to please Him? Should we not develop an inward faith in God's Word and demonstrate it outwardly and openly by our actions, knowing that this is precious to the Father-heart of God?

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the faith demonstrated by Abraham and for the Lord Jesus Christ, the Seed of Abraham, Whom You sent to earth to be our Kinsman Redeemer by willingly offering His life as the required payment for sin. Help me to develop an unshakable inward faith and to be ready and willing to demonstrate it in word and deed, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.  

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