Monday, May 9, 2011

Blessing and Cursing

Gen 12:3 "I will bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

My pastor used this verse in his introduction to his sermon yesterday. The point: All of the families of the earth have been blessed through Abraham. How? Through Jesus. Take a look at Matthew chapter one. It is a family tree that starts with Abraham and ends with Jesus. "For God so loved the world (all the families of the earth) that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes on Him would not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 Everlasting life. Talk about a blessing! The offer of this gift was made to all the families of the earth. That whoever believes on Him. There is no distinction. Jew, Gentile, free, slave, male, female, "red and yellow, black and white"…whoever. This is all the families of the earth. And we have all been blessed through Abraham's family. Those who believe in Christ are all from the line of Abraham. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Gal. 3:28,29 There it is. The fulfillment of this promise given to Abraham. Amazing stuff.

The other thing that hit me, though, was this. Do you want to be blessed? Then bless those who are of the line of Abraham. This would mean Jews and Christians. The word for bless in the Hebrew is "barak". That's right. Our President's first name means "bless". It means to bless, to kneel, to adore, to praise. It almost sounds like a worshipful attitude. God will bless, kneel, adore and praise those who bless, kneel, adore and praise those who are in the line of Abraham because all of the nations of the earth are blessed, adored and praised because of His Son. If we treat those who come from the line of Abraham with how we would treat Jesus, then we will see God's favor.

The flip side to this, however, is pretty sobering. "I will curse him who curses you." Those who treat those from the line of Abraham with contempt, who dishonor them, who diminish them, God is going to curse. This is a significant warning to people who persecute Christians. This is a significant warning to those nations who want to eliminate Israel. Not only is it a warning, but it is a promise. God will abhor and detest these people and nations and "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Heb 10:31 Maybe those who lead in nations that restrict believers should pay attention. Maybe those in the Middle East who persecute Christians and are pushing for the destruction of Israel should listen to what their fate will be if they continue in this mindset.

For me, I need to make sure that I treat all people well. I need to bless those who come across my path. I need to encourage others and do good unto all men, especially those of the household of faith. Gal. 6:10

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