Paul shares with his reader exactly Who was the promised offspring of Abraham. The covenant between God and Abraham wasn’t about Isaac. There was an even greater One intended.
To begin with, Abraham was NOT a Jew. He was a pagan just like the rest of the world but somehow he had been close to God. I don’t know if his father taught him about God but he recognized His voice and was willing to go where He directed.
God had kept a faithful and close association with man since the beginning of time. It was interrupted in the garden and almost wiped out in the flood but God kept that spark alive. David tells us that creation speaks of God’s presence and all one has to do is open their eyes. I agree!
God’s promise to Abraham about his one specific Offspring wasn’t the first time this amazing Descendent was mentioned. God first mentioned Him in the garden when making a promise to Adam and Eve. We hear of Him again with Noah and then get down to direct family lines in Abraham. Why God chose Abraham out of ALL the people in the world, I will probably never know this side of Heaven. But He did.
Abraham had no children. He desperately wanted some though. When God came to him with this promise of an heir his heart was heavy. The only heir he had was his servant. God’s promise to bring an heir out of Abraham’s own body was AMAZING! “I’m going to be a father!!!” Can you imagine the joy in his heart? He had to tell Sarah! Surely she would be just as excited. We all know the story of how they tried to help God out and got into quite a pickle.
But the promise God gave to Abraham didn’t end with Isaac. God told him that his descendants would rival the number of stars. That is certainly more than one young man. Isaac was the first installment of that promise. He was a look at what was to come. He was the child that only happened by faith.
Abraham and Sarah didn’t go to any fertility doctors. They were told to STOP trying to work it all out on their own. They had to simply walk each day, trusting that God would do exactly as He said. And He did! Through faith this couple met and went through the act of procreation one more time. They had been here hundreds of times before and received nothing but each other’s comfort. But this time would be different. God had said so.
The ultimate promised Offspring though didn’t come through man’s act of procreation. He came through another act of faith. Mary had NEVER engaged in the act of procreation, yet she believed God when she was told she would carry a child. This child was conceived by faith. This was the One that NO ONE else could lay claim to having created. This was the true Promised One.
Abraham’s physical descendants received the bloodline promise and the earthly inheritance but his spiritual children received the true inheritance. Those born into faith received the true promise. They became/become one with the Heir. We take on His character. We take on His name. And He gives us a future. One not available any other way. The law can’t do it. Doctors can’t do it. Try as hard as you want, YOU can’t do it either. Only God can give that kind of life. That kind of promise to His children.
Thank You Father that You brought me into Your family. I was brought as surely as Abraham was. I wonder if it was easier for me to believe in You than it was for Abraham. I had parents who showed me Your love. Jesus had also already finished His work on the cross. I had centuries of those before me paving the way. Abraham had known You. What was his expectation regarding the promise from the garden? I can’t imagine him not knowing of that promise made to man. Did his feel vague where mine had specific substance? Regardless, he was able to hold onto it.
Not all Your promises are complete either. There is still so much more that You have hinted at. The fact that You have been faithful in all Your previous promises settles my heart to KNOW You will be faithful with the rest. To me they are probably as vague as Abraham’s was in the beginning. But just like Abraham, I will trust You to do exactly as You said. Hopefully I won’t get myself in too many pickles trying to help out. The world is still paying the price of Abraham’s “help”, hopefully mine won’t be so far reaching.