Anglican Morning Devotion for 24 December 2021 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Jesus Christ is the central theme of the entire Bible from Genesis 1:1 (the word for God is, in Hebrew, Elohim, a singular plural) to Revelations 22:21. The gospel of the Old Testament is like a gradually unfolding rose bud, and the New Testament bears out the full blossom. Were it not for the Law and the Prophets, we would not be able to comprehend fully our need for a Redeemer, nor would we realize our hopelessness and abject depravity.
There came a time in the successive generations after the flood that the wickedness of man became intolerable to the Lord. “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” (Genesis 6:5-6) The whole race had fallen into such wickedness save one – NOAH, and Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. S, the Lord commanded Moses to build the Ark that was done over a period of 100 years. God preserved Noah and his family (eight souls) from the utter destruction of the old world. Even after the flood, evil continued to prosper. Man attempted to create a one-world government at Babel, and the Lord confused their tongues to limit their evil designs (the first example, perhaps, of tongues-speaking – I couldn’t resist).
In the process of years, Abraham was called out of Ur of the Chaldees. Abraham was well-favored by God even though Abraham was not perfect as none of us are. Abraham was told to leave his homeland and go to that land to which the Lord would lead him. To his great credit, Abraham (Abram) immediately obeyed without question; however, he did not obey completely. “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.” Gen 12:1-2 However, in one particular, Abraham was disobedient to that command – he did not leave his kindred, but brought along Lot who would later prove a great grief and a burden to Abraham. We all fall short of God’s gracious plans for us in some way or other.
God spoke to Abraham and said: “I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” (Genesis 17:7) Please read that verse carefully. Did God offer many seeds to Abraham? No, God promised a Seed (singular) and that Seed is Christ. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16) Abraham was promised many children – so many as the stars. Well, Isaac was the promised son of blessing. That did not amount to the size we would expect. Who are those children of Abraham? Are they any particular race such as Jews only? No, since even most professing the Judaic faith are not the true children of Israel. Then who are they? The answer is provided in many texts of the New Testament, but my favorite is below:
“But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:22-29) If you are in Christ, you are very much of Israel and children of Abraham – and of God!
No need to struggle with endless genealogies and become steeped in incomprehensible theological theories – just belief and accept the plainly written Word of God for a sure Foundation and to make your election in Christ sure.