The overarching theme of the Bible is the story of God, the creator of heaven and earth, restoring men to peace with Him and each other. The foundation for understanding the various strands of Scripture and how they tie together is laid in its beginning pages and built into a marvelous theological framework from Genesis to Joshua. Central to this theme is God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3,1 frequently referred to as the Abrahamic Covenant of Grace. The Lord promises to make the descendants of Abraham a great nation, that this great nation will have a land to call its own, and that Abraham will be blessed in order to be a blessing. Around these three divine promises (seed, land, and blessing) the heart of Scripture beats.
The story of the promise begins with Abraham, an old man who lives in the city of Ur in the land of the Chaldeans. He is a pagan in the midst of a pagan nation. But Abraham finds grace in the eyes of the Lord. God calls to Abraham with the divine promise, and Abraham obeys by leaving his homeland and journeys to a new place. This step of tremendous faith launches the plan of God to build the nation of Israel, which begins to fulfill the promises to Abraham. Israel is the seed of Abraham that grows to rival the number of the stars of heaven. Israel is the land of Canaan that flows with milk and honey, and where Abraham’s descendants call home. Israel (through Abraham) is blessed by God’s adopting them as his own special possession, and is a blessing by being a light of salvation to the nations of the earth. By using the threefold promise to Abraham as a map, the plot of Genesis through Joshua begins to unfold and blossom.
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