The third reading from the book of Genesis is named Lech Lecha. It means “go forth.” The first verse says, “Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go forth (lech lecha ) from your country.'” Section Lech Lecha introduces Abraham and tells the story of his pilgrimage in pursuit of God.
In verse one we see that God told Abraham to get up and leave his homeland, his family, his friends and go. He didn’t give Abraham an itinerary. There was no destination mentioned. It was simply a command for Abraham to get up and go. Leave your comfort zone and I’ll let you know later where you are going.
How many of us would have enough faith to follow God? We have been raised all our lives with the concept of the sovereign God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But Abraham didn’t have that foundation or background. He had nothing to go on. However, something stirred within Abraham that made him obey the voice of this foreign God. How was he to know is this the real deal or not? We don’t know how God spoke to Abraham, but it must have been very persuasive for him to leave everything and follow a God that was heretofore unknown to him to an unknown land for an unknown purpose.
This morning I would like to focus on verses 2 and 3.
Genesis 12:2-3 My heart’s desire is to make you into a great nation, to bless you, to make your name great so that you may be a blessing. (3) My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
All the other translations that I read did not mention anything about my heart’s desire. The text would just say “I will bless you”. So I don’t know how the translators came up with that heart’s desire language but I like it. The key word that we will look at this morning is “bless”. In Hebrew it is ‘barak’. ברך . You are familiar with the root word because we use it every day for various blessings. Baruch atah Adonai…..
Looking at this verse we can see some important things.
- God will bless us!
So how did I get from God saying He will bless Abraham to saying that God will bless us? Well, it’s because the covenant is for Abraham’s seed too.
Genesis 17:7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
We are the seed of Abraham. If we are Jewish, then we are physical descendants and if we are Gentiles, then we are spiritual descendants of Abraham.
Galatians 3:29 And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed—heirs according to the promise.
Therefore, we are heirs of the covenant that God made with Abraham. The promises that God made with Abraham are promises to each and every one of us, if we believe that Yeshua is the Messiah.
Paul spoke of being grafted in in his letter to the kehila at Rome.
Romans 11:17-24 But if some of the branches were broken off and you—being a wild olive—were grafted in among them and became a partaker of the root of the olive tree with its richness, (18) do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, it is not you who support the root but the root supports you.
(19) You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” (20) True enough. They were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear—
(21) for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. (22) Notice then the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who fell; but God’s kindness toward you, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off!
(23) And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.
(24) For if you were cut out of that which by nature is a wild olive tree, and grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
He is speaking to the Gentiles here not to be arrogant that they were grafted in because the Jews were cut off in unbelief. Because, he says, the Jews can be grafted back in if they put their faith and trust in Yeshua. We are all the same in God’s eyes.
Ok, so now what’s the purpose in this blessing? Surely God didn’t bless Abraham just because He liked him.
- The purpose of God’s blessing is to be a blessing to others.
Yeshua told the story of a selfish rich man. God requires much of us as recipients of the promise!
Luke 12:16-21 And Yeshua told them a parable, saying, “The land of a certain rich man produced good crops. (17) And he began thinking to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do? I don’t have a place to store my harvest!’
(18) And he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do! I’ll tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I’ll store all my grain and my goods.
(19) And I’ll say to myself, ’O my soul, you have plenty of goods saved up for many years! So take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry.”’
(20) But God said to him, ‘You fool! Tonight your soul is being demanded back from you! And what you have prepared, whose will that be?’ (21) So it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich in God.”
God has a purpose for each one of us. I’ve said many times that God expects us to work in His kingdom and not live of spiritual welfare.
Luke 12:48b … From everyone given much, much will be required; and from the one for whom more is provided, all the more they will ask of him.
We have been given the gift of redemption and the privilege of communion with Yeshua for eternity. So, yes, God expects a lot from us.
And while there is a universality to this principle of blessing, there is a specific application. There was a specific blessing in mind, which was Yeshua HaMashiach.
KNOWING TO SOWING
We cannot say that now that Yeshua has come, the covenant, and its responsibilities are gone. We must continue to bring the good news of Yeshua to others, to bring them under the blessing of the New Covenant. It is not enough to know that Yeshua is the Divine Messiah, for even the demons in hell concede that. We are called to grow within the vine, then serve others, then sow to expand the harvest.
Listen to what Yeshua said.
John 12:32 And as I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself.”
We who have received the blessings of Life in Yeshua, have a responsibility to bring this same Messiah to others.
Acts 3:6 But Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you—in the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha-Natzrati, get up and walk!”
Peter got it. After all his failures, he finally figured out his purpose in life. He was to bring the Besorah, the Good News of Yeshua to a world that was lost in sin. So how do we fulfil our responsibility of our blessing.
- We are a blessing by giving our time, talent, and treasures.
2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread quickly and be glorified—just as it is with you.
I have often heard people say that they don’t have any talent, or resources, or abilities that would be useful for the Kingdom. Some have told me that they have physical challenges that prevent them from doing a lot for the Lord. Let me tell you, just about the most important thing you can do is pray. Pray for me, pray for Tree of Life, pray for your neighbor. Just pray. Prayer important and it is powerful.
The kingdom of God is advanced by the tithes and offerings of the Body of Believers. It always has been and always will be until the end of time.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Let each one give as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion—for God loves a cheerful giver.
Luke 8:3 Joanna, the wife of Kuza, Herod’s finance minister; Susanna; and many others—were supporting them out of their own resources.
During the ministry of Yeshua here on earth there were people who saw that He was sent by God and wanted to be a blessing. Even people who were in the household of Herod were supporting the ministry and needs of Yeshua and His disciples!
- Giving of ourselves.
Many of you know that one of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in Romans 12:1.
Romans 12:1 I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy, acceptable to God—which is your spiritual service.
Your spiritual service, avodah and kavana. Your purpose in worship and service to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dearly loved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord—because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Nothing that we do for the Lord is without value. Remember that even a cup of water given in His name is notable.
- Through our connection with Yeshua we are to be a blessing to the whole earth.
God gave Abraham this promise for the purpose of bringing blessing to the whole earth. Of course we see that this blessing for the whole earth is not from us, but through us by the blood of Yeshua the Messiah. We are His emissaries, His sent out ones.
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh,
We often talk about being holy, separated, apart, dedicated. Use whatever word suites your purpose. But in God’s overall plan, we have a supporting role. In fact, since Yeshua has now ascended, we have a leading role in the advancement of the Kingdom, but advancement is not the end of the command. We are to teach and disciple the ones who have found the Messiah.
The world was not an afterthought but was part of the original plan.
Galatians 3:8-9 The Scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the Good News to Abraham in advance, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed through you.” (9) So then, the faithful are blessed along with Abraham, the faithful one.
Yeshua commissioned us to bring this blessing to the whole world.
SLIDE 27: RED HEART VINE
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Ruach ha-Kodesh has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and through all Judah, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
So, in closing, let’s look back at the title of this lesson. Blessed to be a blessing.
We have certainly been blessed through our salvation in Yeshua. What do we do with that blessing?
Simply put, we bring the good news of Yeshua to the world. How we do it is as varied as how many of us there are in this room. None of us is identical and our ministry to others will be just as diverse. How you bring the good news is up to you, just use your blessing to be a blessing.