If we can keep in mind that God has not forgotten His original intention for humanity, if we also keep in mind that He cannot fail, then it might become easier to see how His plan continued to move forward in Genesis. Immediately after Adam and Eve disobeyed God, He informed them of the consequences of their sin. Life would be much harder than before. At the same time He also gave them a promise of the future victory.
The promise is in cryptic form. In case you haven’t already noticed, many phrases in the bible are in a literary form that uses symbols or word pictures to convey an idea or a message. The serpent who tempted and deceived Eve in many places in the bible is representative of the devil or Satan, our adversary. God promised that while the serpent would bruise the heal of Eve’s descendent, her descendent would bruise his head. (Genesis 3:13-19) The meaning of this, while encouraging at the time, would not be fully understood until four thousand years later. Jesus, who was born of a woman was put to death by the prompting of the devil. In this process He ultimately defeated death and the devil by His resurrection from the grave! In His death on the cross He paid the penalty for all our sins, and in His resurrection He triumphed over sin, death and the devil! In ancient times the battle was won when the victor pressed his foot on the head of his enemy. We will go into that more later, but for now we will continue to ask that the Holy Spirit will open our eyes to see every promise and fulfillment we have in Christ!
There is another important promise in Genesis. We have already mentioned the patriarch Abraham, who was first known as Abram. After God called him out from his familiar surroundings, to a land that He would provide, He gave him a wonderful promise.
1 Now the LORD said to Abram,
“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
2 And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. “
Later God also promised to make Abraham’s descendants as many as the stars of the heaven and the sands of the seashore! (Genesis 13:16)
In the New Testament it becomes evident how this promise is literally being fulfilled even today! The biblical scholar Paul the apostle of Christ explained how God’s plan all along was not only to bless the natural children of Abraham (the Jews), but all the families of the earth as well. The natural and faith-filled descendants would be a source of blessing but one in particular, Jesus the Messiah would be the door to open for all of us the entrance into the family of faith! (Galatians 3:14)
6 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
On the cross Jesus paid the penalty for the sins of humanity, both Jews and gentiles. In this way He has reconciled us all to God, both Jews and gentiles, making us all one, but only as we place our faith and trust in Him as did our father Abraham! The faith seen in Abraham was not simply a matter of agreement or intellectual assent. It was an active faith that was literally shown in his willingness to leave his past behind in search of God’s will for him, his wife and those dependent upon him. (Hebrews 11:8-16) In this life change is inevitable. The challenge is to trust God when He leads us into a change He has planned. Our faith is one that moves us to action, to often leave our comfort zones. This is part of what makes the Christian life a faith-filled adventure. At this very moment we might have our own plans for school, work, marriage, a place to live etc., but what are His plans for us? Are we open to finding the area of service where we can share that blessing that has come down to us through Abraham?
In these pages we hope to show how every act of faith in God, however small can contribute to His eternal purpose of blessing all the families of the earth, all the nations. How often have we been robbed of our supernatural joy, and of living that abundant life in Christ simply because of distractions from His purpose? Is the Christian life only about resisting sin? How much do you suppose that taking the time to focus on Him, worshipping Him, becoming preoccupied with His purpose, of serving others in response to Him — how much could these things become the means to overcoming temptation to sin?
Paul wrote that the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus had made him free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:3) Years ago I heard this helpful analogy: The law of sin and death is like the physical law of gravity. It pulls us down. It is also constant and never takes a break, so to speak. “What goes up, must come down” according to the law of gravity. However there are other laws of physics that have been discovered. Birds can fly and airplanes also because of the laws of aerodynamics. Gravity is still at work, but because of these other laws, large, heavy planes can be lifted upward from the ground. Of course even the birds must come down out of the sky eventually. Eagles have greater wingspans and the ability to catch the air currents that can carry them higher and with less effort than other birds. Likewise rockets that are powerful enough to escape the earth’s atmosphere can enter into areas where the earth’s gravity is much less than where we stand now.
We should never make light of the law of sin and death. At the same time we should not diminish the power of the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! Not only has God given the Holy Spirit to live within those who trust in Him, but He has also made it possible for us to live in the Spirit and to walk in the Spirit! Paul encourages us to walk in the Spirit, so that we will not fulfill the desires of the old sinful nature. (Galatians 5:16) In fact we can even count the sinful nature dead because we are now alive in Christ! (Romans 6:11) By seeking God, hearing His Word, following His leading, loving and serving others, praising Him, pursuing what is good, allowing the Holy Spirit to dominate our thoughts and feelings, we can gradually be lifted upward from the lower realms of living. Things that once dominated our thinking become weaker. Even painful memories will become faint, and thoughts of your glorious future will take their place.
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews stated that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were looking for a city that had foundations, whose builder and maker was God. (Hebrews 11:9-16) They were focused on the promises of God. The city they sought was a heavenly one. It was the same city that John the Revelator saw coming down from God out of heaven to earth! (Revelations 21:2-3) Did they fully comprehend all of what this meant? I doubt it. Even Paul declared:
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-11 NASB).
So again we realize that the revelation of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to become encouraged, comforted, and even motivated by things we can only understand by faith.
The Household of God
So we can now see part of what John the Baptist meant when he said that the time is fulfilled, and that the kingdom of God was at hand. We are living in the reality of the fact today, that Christ has joined believing Jews and gentiles into one body, from many nations, races and cultures. All the families and nations of the earth can be blessed because of Abraham and his descendants. As we look around us it should be plain that we still have a long way to go, but this should not discourage us! Think of what is yet ahead, and that we can still be a part of it! It is sad to me that so many Christians are not interested in history. They only want to know what is going on today, in their lifetime. This is a very narrow and self-centered attitude. Not only that, ignorance of the past can prevent us from seeing God’s trajectory. What I mean is, that we need to see not only how far we need to go, but also how far we have come as the one family in God that we are. The early Christians believed that there was a connection between them and those that came before. They also believed that they were connected to believers in the future. In fact many understood that their death from persecution for Christ paved the way for many others, thousands and even millions to come into this kingdom, this family of God! History would show that their belief was true and proven in the early centuries of Christianity.
We all have the priority of our immediate family when it comes to our responsibility. That is only right. However, it is a wonderful and even powerful thing to realize that you are part of something greater, encompassing all the world and all of the ages! This family of God is an eternal one! It is central to the purpose for which all of time exists! (Ephesians 3:19) What would you be willing to offer to see the purpose of our eternal family fulfilled? Perhaps you are already serving in your full capacity in the Kingdom. If so, I desire to light a fire in you by the word of God so that your joy will be full and overflowing in it!