Walking by Faith (Genesis 12:1–3) - Radical
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Walking by Faith (Genesis 12:1–3)

“Now the Lord said to Abraham, go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you, 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. I will bless those who bless you and him who dishonors you, I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
– Genesis 12:1–3

What a picture, of God calling Abraham who will become Abraham and promising Abraham blessing like beyond what he could imagine. I will make of you a great nation. I will give you a land and I will use your life and those who come after you, the offspring that comes after you to bless all the families of the earth.

What a picture. It’s hard to imagine a more bountiful promise of blessing, but think about Abraham when he hears these words. Like in that moment, nothing practically had changed right in front of him. Like tomorrow, he still had to get up and decide what to do. He had to decide, do I trust this promise? Do I pick up my family and go to a land that I don’t even know exactly where it is or what it will involve?

Abraham’s Trust in God

Abraham had a decision whether or not to trust God, and the whole picture that we see of Abraham’s life after this and that we have of Abraham’s life in the rest of the Bible is a man who trusted God, who believed God. In fact, Genesis 15:6 will say Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. This is the picture we see from the very beginning of the Bible that those who follow God do so in faith.

Now it’s not a blind faith. It’s not just a close your eyes, step out into nothingness and hope someone hope God catches you. That’s not at all what we see here. This is a trust in the promises of God. Yes, this is what we see all throughout the Bible. This is the way we are saved from our sins by trust in the promises of God. When God says, do you confess with your mouth?

Genesis 12:1–3 Praises Jesus as Lord of Our Hearts

Jesus is Lord, believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. And so when we come to salvation in God, when we enter in a relationship with God, it’s trusting that that is true, that Jesus has died on the cross for our sins. He’s risen from the grave as Lord of all. And that when we trust in him, put our faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, for eternal life under his Lordship, that we are saved.

The Christian life is a life of faith and it’s been this way from the very beginning. So even as we think about Advent and the anticipation of the coming of Jesus, let’s remember those who went before us, particularly in the Old Testament who trusted God when they had the promises of God, but they didn’t have all the details of what this would look like, how this would unfold, at what time this or that would happen.

So God, we pray that You would help us to trust in You. Help us to take our place and the footsteps of faith like those who have gone before us. Help us to trust in You with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding. We thank You that Abraham did not do that. That next day when he rose and he went as You had told him, Genesis 12:4 says, God, may it be so and us.

Genesis 12:1–3 Prays for God’s Blessing to Spread to All Peoples

May we rise today, tomorrow and do as You have told us, live trusting in your promises, believing, knowing that you are always faithful to your promises. Jesus, we praise You that You are the fulfillment of Genesis 12:1–3, that You are the fulfillment of the blessing of God for us and not just for us, for all the peoples of the world. God, we pray that your blessing would continue to just read to all the peoples of the world. We pray for the Berbers of Morocco today, so many millions of them, so few followers of Jesus.

God, please bring your blessing to the peoples. The families of Morocco, among the Berber people that they might know Your faithfulness, Your love, Your salvation in Jesus. Use us as your church to take this good news to them. To carry out the commission that You have promised would take place ever since Genesis 12. That all the nations and families of the earth would be blessed through Your promises to Your people. Oh God. We praise You for Your faithfulness and we pray that You’d help us to trust in You. Help us to live by faith in You today. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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