Genesis is foundational. It introduces God, introduces mankind, and explains what happened in the past that so messes with our present. In it we learn that God has always been, that this earth was created, and that man, because of willful rebellion, is fallen from God’s intended state and is beset with sin’s abiding consequences.
But it also introduces God’s plan of redemption. It’s hinted at as early as Genesis 3 where God speaks of the enmity that will exist between the serpent and the woman’s offspring (Gen. 3:15) and foreshadowed in the shedding of the blood of animals so that God could cover man’s shame (3:21).
And the foundation for God’s blueprint of rescue and reconciliation continues to get laid throughout the Genesis narrative through the promises of God. In particular, the promises he makes Abraham.
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your fathers 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.”
(Genesis 12:1-3 ESV)
A great nation, a great blessing. That was God’s promise to Abraham. And that promise will be repeated and further detailed throughout the Genesis account and the rest of the Old Testament as God reveals to Abraham the location of the land, the innumerable number of his offspring, the far-reaching impact of the blessing. And so, as I’m reading the Genesis story I’m on the lookout for these foundational promises.
But this morning I’m reminded that, ultimately, our hope concerning God’s plan of salvation lies not just in the fact that He is a Promise Maker but, more importantly, in the evidence that He is a Promise Keeper. And that reminder came from the account of the birth of a son to a very, very old and barren woman.
The LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as He had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him.
(Genesis 21:1 ESV)
God promised Abraham that he would father a great nation and that it would start with fathering a son. A son born by his wife, Sarah — despite her barren womb and her advancing age. A son they would name Isaac. A son with whom God would also establish His covenant (Gen. 17:15-21).
And the LORD graciously visited Sarah, AS HE HAD SAID. And the LORD did to Sarah, allowing her to give birth to a son, AS HE HAD PROMISED.
As He said . . . As He Promised . . . so my God does.
Genesis lays the foundation of God not only as the giver of promise and the author of covenant, but also establishes our God as both able and faithful to keep His promises and establish His covenants.
And as those who walk by faith, we rely on the promises of God. Promises that the work He’s begun in us, He will complete (Php. 1:6) . . . promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5) . . . promises that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us that we might one day be with Him (John 14:1-3) . . . promises that He is coming again and God’s plan of redemption will be fully realized with a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21-22).
These and many more. All great promises. All hope-infusing and faith-sustaining promises. Because they are promises made by the God who is the great keeper of what he has promised.
As He said . . . As He promised . . . so He will do.
All because of over-flowing grace. All for His eternal glory.