Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. (Genesis 12:1-7)
Abram was an old man living in the city of Haran when God chose him for a very special purpose. God told Abram to pack up and to move to Canaan. God went on to promise Abram that his family would grow to be their own nation and that they would inherit a land they could call their own. God even promised Abram that the whole world would be blessed through his family. God then renamed Abram Abraham as a reminder that he would be a father of many nations.
However, when God made these promises to Abraham, he and his wife Sarah had no children and were long past the age where bearing children was an option. God’s declaration that Abram would have countless descendants seemed an impossibility. Thankfully, even when things seem dire, God keeps His promises and always has a plan. God insisted that Abraham and Sarah trust in Him.
God knew even before Adam and Eve fell in the Garden that we would need a descendant of Eve to rescue us from our sins. In the same way, when God made His promises to Abraham, God was confident that it would be through Abraham’s family that Jesus would come. It would ultimately be through Jesus that salvation would be offered to the world. This is how God would bless all the families of the earth through Abraham! When we find ourselves doubting God’s promises, we need only look to stories like these that show He is powerful enough to overcome our doubts. When we feel trapped in moments of waiting, it can be helpful to remind ourselves of people like Abraham and Sarah who were promised something that seemed impossible for years.
Draw a picture of a tent on today’s ornament to remind you how Abram and Sarai lived while they waited on God to fulfill His purpose for them. Part of God’s promise to Abram was that His family would bless the whole world. Go to operationworld.org/countries-alphabetically and pick a country. Read how God has already kept His promise to that country and pray even more people from that country will hear about the good news of Christmas this year!