From: Heaven on Earth
With the world in a state of rebellion against its rightful king, God’s utopian plan for humankind seems to have failed once again. The mandate for humans to rule Earth on God’s behalf and according to his will has yet to be carried out successfully. Undaunted by these human failures, God chooses one solitary man, Abram, to do his bidding. To this descendant of Terah of the ancient line of Godly Seth, now living in Ur of the Chaldeans, God communicates a command and a promise.
Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 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 the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the Earth shall be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3).
God calls Abram to leave his homeland, describing his destination simply as “the land that I will show you.” All Abram has to go on is a promise. By responding positively to God’s voice, he begins a journey of faith, leaving behind allegiance to the gods of Ur. Abram will eventually see the land and purchase a cemetery plot, but he will never actually settle there. This will be left to his descendants.
The people of Babel had vowed, “Let us make a name of ourselves,” (Genesis 11:4), but now God pledges that he will make Abram’s name great. The fragmented and scattered nations live autonomous of God’s rule, but God promises to make of Abram a great nation. His purpose for choosing Abram is that “all the families of the Earth shall be blessed,” that is, that they shall experience God’s merciful love. Families make up nations. As goes the family, so goes the nation. In the end, those who side with Abram and his seed will prosper, and those who seek to harm them will be cursed.
God has not forgotten or abandoned his kingdom plan for the world. He will now use Abram to fulfill the divine mandate, which is essentially a political agenda. A great nation will emerge from Abram’s family that will serve as an alternative society to the rebellious nations that operate according to self-will. In the midst of a world in chaos, they will reflect God’s will and character. The blessings should lead other nations to seek similar blessings under the banner of God’s benevolent reign.
Salvation, therefore, is much more than spiritual deliverance from personal sin. It includes rescue from political forces and structures that have aligned with Satan. Adam and Eve are liberated from a dangerous garden, Noah is saved from an evil world, and Abraham is delivered from an idolatrous nation. On the positive side, God enjoins them to multiply and form a new society that rules in accordance with his ethical guidelines.