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The promise to Abraham. How God fulfills his promises

This is found in Genesis 12:1-4, which says:

"I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

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 15:5
He took him outside and said: "Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so," he added, "shall your descendants be."

Genesis 15:12-16
As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram, and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.
Then the LORD said to Abram: "Know for certain that your descendants shall be aliens in a land not their own, where they shall be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years.
But I will bring judgment on the nation they must serve, and in the end they will depart with great wealth.
You, however, shall join your forefathers in peace; you shall be buried at a contented old age.

In the fourth time-span the others shall come back here; the wickedness of the Amorites will not have reached its full measure until then."


This was just something that strikes me as very very odd. God makes a covenant with Abraham to make his people numerous and bless them.

But when they formalize the covenant, God makes Abraham sleepy and he does not know what happens next. Then God tells everyone that actually, they will be slaves for 400 years and then they will be given the holy land.

I wonder how Abraham would feel about that if he had known?

I wonder how Abraham would feel if he knew that his descendants would be slaves for 400 years and then they would be allowed to claim Canaan. Of course, instead of getting to Canaan immediately, they spend another 40 years in the wilderness. After which they have so many wars with so many tribes in between before establishing his kingdom. And then they get conquered by other kingdoms, and fall under the Romans eventually with Jerusalem being totally destroyed and the Jews being dispersed.

I wonder how Abraham feels that millions of his descendants were allowed to be killed by Hitler.

I wonder how Abraham feels knowing that a vast majority of his people will not be saved because they rejected Jesus.

Eventually, the jews recover their country, of course, that is like 2000 years after it fell. God is faithful indeed. *peace*
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Comments

  • actually, if you read the verses again, it says that God is blessing Abraham, not necessarily his descendants. it also says that "all peoples on earth will be blessed through you," but it never singles out Abraham's descendants. not to mention that is is likely to be a reference to Jesus as being among Abraham's descendants among other roles Abraham would play in salvation history.
  • this is OT of course. but just felt like sharing.

    What's the value of a human life according to the Bible God?
    Does God feel that some people are worth more than others?
    What do God's absolute and perfect moral standards have to say about this issue?

    Lev 27:1-7
    And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
    Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the LORD(dedicated to the Lord) by thy estimation(scale of values).
    And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary.
    And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels.
    And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels.
    And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver.
    And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels.

    The process described above relates to dedicating someone to the Lord by paying the "value" of that person to one of God's priests, who acts as God's agent in this transaction. The value of a person is declared in Lev 27, as shown above.

    Here's the accounting summary:
    Man age 20-60 = 50 credits
    Woman age 20-60 = 30 credits
    Women are worth 60% of what men are worth.

    Boy age 5-20 = 20 credits
    Girl age 5-20 = 10 credits
    Girls are worth 50% of what a boy is.

    Boy age 0-5 = 5 credits
    Girl age 0-5 = 3 credits

    Man age 60+ = 15 credits
    Woman age 60+ = 10 credits

    Old women are worth 67% of what old men are worth.
    Old men are worth 30% of what a mature man is worth.
    Boys are worth 40% of what a mature man is worth.
    Children and infants are worth 10% of what a mature adult is worth.

    The Bible God places lower values of worth on children, females, and the aged.
  • blue[]ce wrote:
    Eventually, the jews recover their country, of course, that is like 2000 years after it fell. God is faithful indeed. *peace*

    "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

    Actually it was not all just a sad story during that time. They had prosperity when the Jess got into the Promised Land and during the reigns of David and Solomon. It was their fault why this was taken away from them because they started worshipping idols.
  • blue[]ce wrote:
    I wonder how Abraham feels knowing that a vast majority of his people will not be saved because they rejected Jesus.

    Sad of course but it will be just the same for those people in his lifetime who rejected God.

    "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one." (John 10:29-30)

    Since Jesus and the Father are one, if a person rejects Jesus, then he or she rejects God.
  • blue[]ce wrote:
    The Bible God places lower values of worth on children, females, and the aged.

    Nothing can be farther from the truth.

    Children: In order to enter the Kingdom of God, you must have faith like that of a child.

    "He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:2-4)

    Women: Women were the first ones to see the Risen Lord.

    So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." (Matthew 28:8-10)

    The Elderly: From the Old Testament

    "'Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:32)
  • Are you saying that the scripture I quoted is wrong and yours is right?

    What do you think is the verse about the shekels talking about?


    And on the topic itself...

    If you were Abraham, and God promised you all those good stuff, a multitude of descendants like stars and great land, and a great nation... You would be so happy right? All thankful and such.

    But going back to the verse, what God does not tell Abraham is that He will also make them slaves for 400 years. He gets Abraham into a deep trance in such a way that Abraham does not know what God actually promises which is a period of slavery, and damnation for majority of the jews.

    God works in mysterious ways indeed.

    If God would promise me right now that he will give my descendants great wealth and fame, I would want to know what he would actually do.

    God has that weird sense of humor don't you think?

    Either way, he deceived Abraham by promising a great future when in fact it is not.

    "Actually it was not all just a sad story during that time. They had prosperity when the Jess got into the Promised Land and during the reigns of David and Solomon. It was their fault why this was taken away from them because they started worshipping idols."

    If you were Abraham, would you still want that promise knowing what would happen in the end?
  • blue[]ce wrote:
    Are you saying that the scripture I quoted is wrong and yours is right?

    he's saying that you're putting your own meaning to a Biblical verse rather than letting the verse mean what it says.
  • blue[]ce wrote:
    Are you saying that the scripture I quoted is wrong and yours is right?

    What do you think is the verse about the shekels talking about?

    Nope. What I'm trying to say is that the verse in Leviticus should be taken in the proper context.

    Now let us go to Leviticus 27 and the shekels.

    During Moses' time God required the Jews to make offerings since the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ hasn't happened yet. But some Jews because of their love for God would want to give something extra and gives a vow or promise to the Lord. This is in a form of service to the temple.

    Now one can redem that promise by paying the value as you rightfully quoted there.

    Why then the unequal amounts? We do not expect children, women and elders to be equal in the physical burdens of the day to day life in the temple.

    So the value provided there is about the physical burden of their work in the temple and not for the value of their beings.

    Remember that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. So all human life has equal value in the eyes of our Lord.

    "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:27)
  • This is very OT, if you would like to continue this discussion about women and others and their value in the eyes of God, I will open up a new thread for our discussion.

    :)

    unless you have more to add with regards to Father Abraham :D
  • blue[]ce wrote:
    This is very OT, if you would like to continue this discussion about women and others and their value in the eyes of God, I will open up a new thread for our discussion.

    :)

    unless you have more to add with regards to Father Abraham :D


    It is all about taking the bible verses in its proper context...

    As the other posters have said, the promise was made by GOD to
    Abraham that he will be blessed with this and that. GOD didn't say anything
    about blessing his children nor cursing his children.

    As I see it, everything happened for a reason... as you know, the
    children of Abraham rebeled against GOD... and because of that, they needed
    to pay the price.

    ========================================================

    I don't know what happened to you... but good luck *okay* .
  • blue[]ce wrote:
    unless you have more to add with regards to Father Abraham :D

    Oh don't you worry about Abraham. He is safely in the Father's arms.

    Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." (Galatians 3:6)

    Plus read Luke 16:19-31 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke 16:19-31;&version=31;
  • Yep, he is in heaven. no doubt about that. but about the jews who died during the holocaust? hmmm.

    what about the jews now?

    hmmmm.

    God indeed gave Abraham many descendants, but at the expense of their eternal souls.

    God promised a good future to Abraham, but made Abraham sleep and then showed us what he really means by predicting slavery and hardship for Abraham's people.
  • blue[]ce wrote:
    Yep, he is in heaven. no doubt about that. but about the jews who died during the holocaust? hmmm.

    what about the jews now?

    hmmmm.

    God indeed gave Abraham many descendants, but at the expense of their eternal souls.

    God promised a good future to Abraham, but made Abraham sleep and then showed us what he really means by predicting slavery and hardship for Abraham's people.

    but God noted in the bible that Abraham's children were already corrupted
    and were lost in their ways...
  • the point was God did not tell Abraham the full extent of his promise and prediction.
  • ^^ can Abraham with his finite mind grasp the full extent of
    God's promise? From the time that God made covenant with
    Abraham, to the time that Israel had famine, to the time that
    tribes of Israel were captured in Egypt, to the time that they
    were saved, to the time that they marched towards the
    promised land... do you honestly believe that Abraham needs to
    know all about this?

    Besides, it were the wrongdoings of Abraham's children that
    angered God and Abraham has nothing to do with it.
  • can Abraham with his finite mind grasp the full extent of
    God's promise? From the time that God made covenant with
    Abraham, to the time that Israel had famine, to the time that
    tribes of Israel were captured in Egypt, to the time that they
    were saved, to the time that they marched towards the
    promised land...

    why stop there? please continue.

    40 year exodus when they could have reached the place in a manner of days.

    only a few of the original generation from Exodus managed to enter the promised land.

    Hundreds of years of warring in the promised land.

    Conquered by the Romans and left Jerusalem in ruins.

    A thousand years and more of being without a nation.

    A few million killed by the Germans.

    Not included in the rapture because they do not believe in Jesus.

    A whole lot more going to hell. All because God chose them to be his people.

    So... when God promises to make you a great country... he means all of that above?

    Do I think that Abraham needed to know? YES! He should know that they would eventually become slaves to Egypians for 400 years.

    400 years of slavery. God is glorius indeed.
  • blue[]ce wrote:
    why stop there? please continue.

    40 year exodus when they could have reached the place in a manner of days.

    only a few of the original generation from Exodus managed to enter the promised land.

    Hundreds of years of warring in the promised land.

    Conquered by the Romans and left Jerusalem in ruins.

    A thousand years and more of being without a nation.

    A few million killed by the Germans.

    Not included in the rapture because they do not believe in Jesus.

    A whole lot more going to hell. All because God chose them to be his people.

    So... when God promises to make you a great country... he means all of that above?

    Do I think that Abraham needed to know? YES! He should know that they would eventually become slaves to Egypians for 400 years.

    400 years of slavery. God is glorius indeed.

    ad infinitum...

    As I have noted, everything has a reason...
  • Let us go to the gist of your argument and let it out in the open. In simple words you are saying that God made a mockery of His promise to Abraham. Let's see what really transpired.

    God promised them a nation... a land of milk and honey in Canaan. So what did God do?

    a.) He made them escape their oppression in Egypt amid miracles before their eyes wherein we got the very popular parting of the Red Sea.

    What did the Israelites do after this?

    - They made a calf idol as their God. (Exodus 32)
    - They grumbled in the desert (Exodus 16) making a supposedly few years journey last into 4 decades. And yet within that time they had food coming out from the sky.


    When the Israelites saw the promised land what did they do?

    - They were afraid of the "giants" (Numbers 13) at Canaan, as if God wasn't big enough for them.


    b.) God fulfills His promise and they became a nation with a land.

    What did the Israelites do?

    - They asked for a human king (1 Samuel 8:6-7). When they could feel God's presence in their midst they asked for a human king.

    - God warned them that their king will make them suffer but yet they asked for a king.


    c.) One of their greatest kings was Solomon. Solomon had great gifts from God but what did he do? He took foreigner concubines and adapted their idols. (1 Kings 11)

    In fact Israel will be split into two nations after Solomon and will be punished for their idolatry.


    In the midst of all this God loves the Jews very much that out of them came the Messiah that will save the world, Jews and Gentiles alike.


    Now come the big questions?

    -Don't we see ourselves there in the history of the Jews? God loving us and we rejecting him by trying to satisfy our whims?

    -Do we seek the answers from mere human knoaledge and not have faith on God?

    - That we cannot believe that an all powerful God can bring us salvation through His grace alone?

    -That when salvation is offered to us through the blood of Christ that we reject it.
  • I'm saying this is a part of God's promise

    Genesis 15:12-16
    As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram, and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.
    Then the LORD said to Abram: "Know for certain that your descendants shall be aliens in a land not their own, where they shall be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years.
    But I will bring judgment on the nation they must serve, and in the end they will depart with great wealth.
    You, however, shall join your forefathers in peace; you shall be buried at a contented old age.
    In the fourth time-span the others shall come back here; the wickedness of the Amorites will not have reached its full measure until then."

    I'm saying that the Jews are doomed to hell because they reject the messiah.

    I'm saying the Jews are God's chosen people as well.

    BibleGod is good indeed.
  • ^^ What part of the verse you didn't understand?

    God is good... I believe that...
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