I’ve been knocked-out by the flu for the past five days and am just starting to get back on my feet and think coherently again! Worst case of the flu I’ve ever had! So I’m playing ‘catch-up’ here with the BibleEater plan. (One of the many advantages of the BibleEater plan is that its reading ‘chunks’ are small enough that you can easily catch up if you fall behind a few days.)
Genesis 12 is highlighted in red in the BibleEater plan, indicating this chapter is very significant in God’s unfolding revelation of redemption. How? The answer lies in the promise God makes to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3 – especially in the second half of verse 3: “and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” How do we understand this promise as applying to us and as related to the ‘Scarlet Thread’?
The Apostle Paul himself answers the question for us. He speaks of this particular promise in Galatians 3:8 when he says: “Now the Scripture saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and told the good news ahead of time to Abraham, saying, All the nations will be blessed through you.” He’s in the middle of making his case for why our spiritual confidence can never rest on “being good enough” or “trying to live a good life” (two themes I hear often in conversations with people about the Gospel). Here he is showing that even the great patriarch Abraham was chosen by God and given this promise – not because of some inherent righteousness he found deep within himself – but because simply because of his faith in who God revealed Himself to be and what God had promised. That’s the essence of Galatians 3:6, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness.” That’s what opens the promise of Genesis 12:3 up to us as we put our trust (our spiritual confidence) in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Paul says in Galatians 3:9, “So those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith.” The ‘Scarlet Thread of Redemption’ weaves through the promise made to Abraham in Genesis 12, tying it to the Gospel promises made to us.