|Faith Strengthened||Chapter 13||Part 1|
Genesis 22:18, "And in thy seed shall the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou (Abraham) hast obeyed my voice." On this verse the Christians found the assertion, that the promise given to Abraham as to the blessing of all nations through his seed, had no reference to the whole race of Abraham’s descendants, but specially and exclusive to Jesus as the pre-eminent posterity of the patriarch; that, therefore, this promise was never realized on other individuals.
Refutation.—Here, again, we have to treat with a palpable fallacy, because the Christians generally argue in favor of their religion from detached portions of the prophecies, without going deeply into the sacred subject and studying the context. The slightest attention to the verse which precedes the one cited, will enable us to judge that no single individual is meant by the Divine bounty. For there we see plainly predicted, "For I will surely bless thee, and multiply thy seed like the stars of heaven, and like the sand on the shore of the sea, and thy seed shall inherit the gates of his enemies; and with thy seed shall be blessed all the nations of the earth," refers to the whole posterity, which is to be abundant as the stars of heaven, and the sand on the shore of the sea. Through the entire seed, through the whole people of Israel the other nations of the earth are to be blessed. Moses gives his testimony to this in addressing the people of Israel, Deuteronomy 1:10, "The Lord your God hath multiplied you; and behold ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude." To this effect, also, the Almighty gave His assurances to Israel and Jacob, see Genesis 26:4, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;" and ibid 28:14, the Lord says to Jacob, "And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shall spread abroad to the west, to the east, to the north, and to the south, and through thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." The Divine promises of love agree with the one given to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed;" and ibid 18:18, "And Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him."
The patriarchs had become a blessing to all the nations of the earth by fearlessly acknowledging the existence, unity, and omnipotence of the Lord, and by proclaiming His name in all their migrations; and they had raised themselves above all other people by their communion with the Divine Being, who awards true blessing and spiritual beatitude.
An equal reward of bliss was appointed unto their children following their paths and observing the virtuous acts of their forefathers. Agreeably to this, Scripture declares, Genesis 18:19, "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, that they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him." See also Isaiah 51:2, "Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him." It is well known no spiritual blessing has ever fallen to the lot of the Gentiles, unless conveyed to them through the medium of Israel’s religion. This will be borne out by the following quotations:—Numbers 10:32, "And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea it shall be, that what goodness the Lord shall do unto us [Israelites] the same we do unto thee [Gentiles]." Isaiah 14:1, "For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land, and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob." Ibid 56:6, "Also the sons of the strangers that join themselves to the Lord to serve him and to love the name of the Lord to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant." (Verse 7) "Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer," etc. Ibid 60:3, "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." Zechariah 2:15 (English version, verse 11), "And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of Hosts hath sent me unto thee." Ibid 8:23
, "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, in those days it shall come to pass that ten men out of all languages of the nations, shall take hold, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." And Psalm 67:2 (verse 1 in the English), "God will be gracious unto and will bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us." —Selah. "That thy ways may be known upon the earth," etc. Passages analogous to the preceding will be amply discussed in the course of this work.