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Read: Genesis 12:1-3, Galatians 3:6-9

Even though Abraham and Sarah are commended in the Bible for their faith, it is very clear that it isn’t perfect faith. There are several instances along the way when their faith faltered significantly. This is a point that many misunderstand: our faith is in the promise and grace of God, our faith is not in our ability to be righteous and to fulfill the law/covenant. God’s promise starts with Abraham and Sarah; the covenant law of Moses is not the basis for our relationship with God. The promise of God to Abram and Sarai preceded the Law of Moses by more than four hundred years.

The promise is a wonderful one, it is reiterated by God five times, over the course of twenty-five years. Over that time additional details are revealed, but it’s always God telling them that, “All the families of the world will be blessed through you.” When you look at the family legacy of Abraham and Sarah it includes many important people of faith, a few wicked and treacherous sinners, and some apparently common folks that we know little about. All of them descendants of Abraham and Sarah, all of them linked to King David, the prototype of the Messiah (that’s why the Messiah was sometimes called, “son of David”), and all of them leading up to the great fulfillment of that promise: the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Although the Messiah would come through the lineage of David, it’s not strictly about bloodlines. Some of David’s ancestors did not come from the twelve tribes of Israel, i.e. Rahab. It is about faith; that’s what constitutes “God’s people”. Faith is also part of the blessing that we receive through Abraham and Sarah. And, faith is our invitation to claim a spot at the table, and accept our identity as a dearly loved child of God. The prophetic word of God described how all the families of the world will be blessed by God; that’s God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah. Indeed, Christ came for all, not just for some.

Thus the angel’s words to Mary and Joseph from Luke chapter 2: “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

Shalom,
Pastor Rob Nystrom