“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” — Genesis 12:3
“Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north, and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.” — Genesis 28:14
The two verses above were spoken to two of the Old Testament patriarchs, the first verse to Abram (Abraham) and the second to his grandson Jacob. Both verses assured both men that they would be richly blessed by God. As we study these verses and the lives of these men, we are most conscious of the way in which God fulfilled His promise to each man. He blessed both men with offspring and physical blessings that would cause them to grow from a family into a nation. Jacob would become the father of 12 sons, who would eventually become the 12 tribes of Israel.
The promise that we sometimes miss in these verses is the one about Jesus. When God works in this world He works on multiple layers. He not only works to bless the individual he initially makes the promise to, but also future generations. In these verses He added an additional layer in which He promised that through these blessings He would bless all peoples (the whole world). God did this by bringing Jesus to the world through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For centuries the Lord not only was faithful to the nation of Israel, but He was also faithful to the entire world the day Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
It is hugely comforting to me to know that our God is so big and so powerful that He can rule peoples and nations by His will. He protected the line of Abraham all the way to Jesus for centuries. He protected them through famines, wars, and conquests. He ruled over the Roman world and forced them to have a census, which would force Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem to be counted. And all this He did to fulfill a prophecy we will talk about another time.
The Good News here is that even when we lose sight of the real purpose and will of God, He doesn’t. He reminds His children throughout all ages that His great desire is to spiritually redeem and save us from our sins and to restore His creation once again. When was the last time you thought about the fact that the reason the nations on this planet continue to exist is God’s will and the furtherance of His kingdom? The Earth continues to revolve because God says that the message of Jesus hasn’t spread to everyone He intends it to be spread to. When that day comes (the last day), not a single president, king, or queen will be able to prevent it from ending.
All of history is ultimately defined by God’s promise to bless all the people of the world in Jesus Christ.