CAST Voices Devotion: All Nations
By Jean-Ray Knighton Fitt
23 May 2017
Genesis 22:18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.
The theme of “All Nations” or “All People” is one of the important themes in the Bible. We first come across it in Genesis 6 where God says: “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them” … and he does. He floods the whole world and saves only Noah and his family.
But through most of the Bible, God’s agenda is to find a way to save and bless all people, and so he looks for a good man, a man of faith and obedience through whom he can bring that blessing to all the nations of the world. Genesis 22:18 tells us that he found Abraham and appointed him as the one through whom he would bring this blessing. This is one of five times that God makes the exact same promise to Abraham – that through his seed all nations on earth will be blessed. This was his main intention, not only for Abraham’s life but for his descendants—blessing for all the nations.
The Bible explains in many ways what blessing means: It means happiness or joy, protection and security, it means favour, honour, peace, authority, long life, good relationships, many children, material abundance and most of all, the presence of God. And it is God’s desire that all nations of the world should experience this kind of blessing. So He made a plan to bring blessing to all the nations.
The Bible also makes the clear connection between blessing and obedience to God. In fact in this passage, all nations are going to be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience. But this blessing is not automatic – it is dependent on all nations learning from Abraham and his descendants (his seed) to obey God and live in covenant with Him just as Abraham did.
The New Testament explains to us that the blessing for all nations was not only through the nation of Israel (the descendants, or seed, of Abraham) but more particularly from one man—the ultimate descendant of Abraham, Jesus, who obeyed God in every way without fault.
Following Jesus will always bring blessing to us. Not necessarily every element of blessing all the time because there will be times of hardship, danger, persecution, loneliness, and poverty—he promises these to us too! But His presence remains with us in all these things, and ultimately the journey of a life with Jesus does bring blessing in every way. Not only to us but to everyone around us.
Questions to ponder:
- Who is included in “All Nations”? Think of some names of people groups / nations.
- How have you experienced blessing through knowing Jesus and obeying God?