The Bible in 10 Weeks – Week 5 Review

"That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful..."
“That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful…”

Israel has been on the receiving end in their relationship with God. They have received a promise, they received the good work of God that freed them from captivity, and they received the promised land. It was not earned nor deserved. Rather God had chosen them to be his people and in his grace he has blessed them. But part of the promise to Abraham was for the people to be a blessing to the world, and that is not something the people always excelled at.

Having been transformed from one man receiving a promise to a powerful nation, Israel is now in the position to be a blessing for others, but they keep their blessing to themselves. The leadership hoards and the rich become richer. Even when God makes it explicitly clear that he has a plan for Jonah to go to a rival city, Nineveh, Jonah flees acting as though he’d rather die than give the Assyrians a chance to repent. This is not the way God wants his people to act and it certainly isn’t the way that God has treated them.

God shows his love to us even while we were his enemies. But too often we will only love those who already love us.

Children of the Promise and Vehicles for God’s Blessing

We’ve had several reasons to reflect on history this week. I already mentioned the anniversary of the protests at Tiananmen Square and today is the 70th anniversary of the invasion at Normandy.

We’ve read through a great history of people like Abraham and Joseph, and one emphasis this week was to recognize that the history we read in Genesis is our history. We are children of Abraham because we are children of the promise by faith. So when we read of God’s promises to Israel, we stand under those promises, too.

But remember the promise God makes to Abraham. It is a promise for blessing, but God also notes that through Abraham’s family will all the families of the earth be blessed. If we are children of Abraham, we cannot merely celebrate that blessed status. We need to remember both that we receive a blessing as part of the promise, and we are to also be a blessing for all the world.