Galatians 3:18 – For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. NKJV
Most people have a childhood memory of pinky promises. Promises to be best friends forever. Promises to keep each other secrets no matter what. Promises to never date someone who your friend is interested. Promises and more promises. Yet, I can’t remember any of the promises or people I made pinky promises with. I just remember doing it.
As humans, we can be a little sloppy with our words, making promises that we have no intentions of keeping. Or making promises we are incapable of keeping. We’ve all experienced the disappointments of broken promises. And we know all too well that the best promise from some people is no promise at all!
I think that is why living together, without the benefit of marriage, may have come into place. It gives you that sense of, not making a forever promise, so you don’t have to worry about it when the other person leaves. I’m just guessing here, but that’s fear. Fear of being hurt, disappointed, abandoned, and no longer wanted or needed. I get it!
The thing that has me blogging tonight is this: because our word can be so weak, and our promises even weaker, we have a tendency to think God is the same way. Thinking like this, is what causes us to live beneath our privilege in Christ; and weakens our ability to live to our fullest in Him!
I can give you example upon example of people not keeping their word. Children go to bed hurt at night because of the parent who didn’t come by to see them or pick them up like it was promised. Spouses cry themselves to sleep because of the other one, who walked away without looking back, although they promised a forever after. Bosses promise promotion that never happens, or raises that never seem to materialize. Companies makes promises with their products that we keep buying, even when we don’t get what they promised. Politicians who run campaigns on promises that they know are unrealistic, unattainable! Don’t you just get tired of it all! And so I get how difficult it may be to trust God at His word! God has this to say about Himself in the word:
“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?Numbers 23:19 – NKJV
We learn about Abraham in Genesis. Abraham was brought up in a polytheistic, multiple gods, culture. He didn’t know who the one true God was, but he must have been interested in Him. One day God called out to him and made him a promise:
Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” -Genesis 12:1-3 – NKJV
And yet, in Galatians, Paul is still referring to the promise that God made to Abraham. Not weeks later! Not centuries later! But millennials later! Paul reminds us of the promise God made to Abraham, that we are partakers of! Everything God promised to Abraham happened. Abraham not only became a great nation, but two nations. His name is known, even today, worldwide. Today, all the families of the earth is being blessed because of the promise made to Abraham.
God was so serious about this promise to Abraham, that it was said:
For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” Hebrews 6:13-14 – NKJV
That’s a strong promise! A promise made to Abraham in Genesis 22:16, when Abraham did not withhold Isaac from God on the mount. It was then that God swore by Himself saying that He would surely bless Abraham!
Our text for today, references the inheritance that was promised to Abraham. The Greek word “kleronomia” means the actual enjoyment of the benefits already promised under the will. That’s powerful all by itself!
Most people understand the concept of a will. Someone dies and leaves us an inheritance. We all wish we were related to people who are really wealthy, so we can get just a slice of the pie! But the King of Glory, God of the Universe has decreed that we are heirs (kleronomos) with Abraham! And that doesn’t excite most people! Well, it should! I’m getting stirred as I write!
If you follow Abraham’s life, everything wasn’t easy. As a matter of fact, he didn’t get to see all of what God had promised to him and his descendants while on earth. The reason being, the promise is still being fulfilled. Even though Abraham is no longer on the earth, God’s promise set things in motion for him and He hasn’t changed His mind about that promise. Because Abraham isn’t around to partake of it, his descendants get to enjoy the benefits of this changeless promise.
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29 – NKJV
Let’s stop and think about the word promise. In the Greek it is “epangelia”. In the Vine’s dictionary we learn that:
It frequently stands for the thing “promised,” and so signifies a gift graciously bestowed, not a pledge secured by negotiation…”
Abraham’s only contribution to receiving this promise was to obey God’s command to leave and to go where he was led. As he did this, he demonstrated his willingness to place his trust in God. Then God blessed Abraham as he promised, and never stopped blessing him. God bestowed favor on Abraham. God bestowed riches on Abraham. God provided protection to Abraham. Every where Abraham turned, he was blessed or getting blessed. Even in his mess ups, they were turned around for his good. Because the blessing from God was upon his life!
God’s promises to Abraham are just as available as they have always been, to the descendants of Abraham. Our part is the same as Abraham’s part was: we simply believe. We don’t have to negotiate with God, or even look for a better promise. Everything that God promised to Abraham is obtained through Christ! And those promises, called great and precious promises, better promises. are waiting for us today!
Look at how faithful God was to His promise to Abraham. There was just no stopping that blessing from happening once it was set in motion by God’s decree. God has made some pretty amazing promises to us in His word. It’s up to us to decide if we can trust His word or not! I will trust God and His unchanging promise! What about you? Wonderful Jesus!