Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed [Gen. 12:1–3].
The first of the threefold promise is the land. God says, “I am going to show you a land, and I am going to give it to you.” The second part of the promise is the nation—“I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great.” He also promises him, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.” The third part of the promise is that He would make him a blessing: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” This is God’s threefold promise.
Now the question arises: Has God made good on His promises to Abraham? God has certainly brought from him a great nation, and it has probably the longest tenure as a nation of any people on this earth. No one can quite match them.
How about the second promise—has Abraham been a blessing to all mankind? Yes, through the Lord Jesus Christ he has been a blessing to the whole world. Also the entire Word of God has come to us through Abraham.
God has fulfilled all His promises to Abraham—except the first one. God had said, “Abraham, I’m going to give you that land.” And look at what is happening over there in our day. They are holding on to the land by their toenails, but they don’t have it. Somebody says, “God didn’t make that good.” Well, let’s not put it that way, my friend. Let’s give God a chance. Two-thirds of the promise has been made good right to the very letter. But God said that He would not let them be in the land if they were disobedient and if they were away from Him. And they are away from Him today. As a result they are having trouble over there. Don’t say that God is not making good His promise. The fact of the matter is that God is doing exactly what He said He would do. The day will come when God will put the people of Israel back in the land, and when He does it, they won’t have only a toehold. They will have the land all the way east to the Euphrates River and all the way north as far as the Hittite nation was and all the way south to the river of Egypt, which is a little river in the Arabian desert. They have never really occupied the land God gave to them. At the zenith of their power, they occupied 30,000 square miles, but that is not all that God gave them. Actually, He gave them 300,000 square miles. They have a long way to go, but they will have to get it on God’s terms and in God’s appointed time. The United Nations can’t do anything about it, and neither can the United States or Russia settle their problem.
My friend, it is very comfortable today where I sit. I have come to the position that God is running things. It is nice to sit here without being frightened by the headlines in the newspaper and without being disturbed by what is going on in the world. God is in control, and He is going to work things out His way.
Now in the light of God’s three promises to Abraham, what did he do?
McGee, J. Vernon: Thru the Bible Commentary. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1981, S. 1:ix-57