Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house…
I. With regard to THE SPEAKER, it is the Lord Jehovah Himself. He alone can bless His people. I do not say, but the Lord may make use of the smallest instrumentality to bless His children. I do not deny the ministration of angels, though one knows so little about it. I do not undervalue their untiring zeal and great unwearied love. I believe they are always as "ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them, who shall be heirs of salvation." Neither do I deny the instrumentality of man; and God may, and does, bless man to man. But all these things are but the streams — or the channels; the great source is God Himself. No one can bless the souls of His people but God Himself. Our wants are too many for any but God to supply them; our sins are too many for any but God to pardon them; our corruptions are too great for any but God to subdue them. Our waywardness is such, that nothing less than infinite patience could bear with us. And even the desires of the new nature are so great, that all heaven could not satisfy them, but as God fills all heaven with Himself.
II. But observe now, secondly, TO WHOM IT IS THAT THIS PROMISE BELONGS. I am quite ready to believe, and to acknowledge, that it was spoken primarily and especially to Abraham; but thanks be to God, we have been taught by the blessed Spirit, I trust, to know that there is not a promise in God's Word but the child of God has it for his inheritance. The Lord has such a people; and they are dear to Him "as the apple of His eye." He has chosen them in Christ Jesus before the world was; they are redeemed by precious blood; He forms them for His glory; He moulds them to His image, and "they shall show forth His praise." No language can describe how precious they are to Him. He sees them in His Son; beholds them in the Beloved. They are dear to Him; the holy image in which they are renewed is precious to Him. The fruit of His own workmanship shall never perish, shall never be annihilated, shall never be destroyed. Their lives are precious to Him; and their deaths are precious. Their services are precious; the very tears they shed for sin are precious; the sighs that heave their bosom for sin, are all precious to Him. To them He looks; with them He dwells; and they are "His jewels," and not one of them shall be lost. But yet they are a needy people, and they want His blessing. They want infinite power to sustain them; they want infinite wisdom to guide them; they want infinite love to bear their infirmities and weaknesses; and they want the patience of a God, to endure them to the end. Leave them to themselves, and they are no blessing, and can communicate no blessing to those around them; nay, leave them to themselves, and they shall be a curse to all around them. But these are they that are here spoken of as the inheritors of the promise — blessed through Abraham, and blessed "with faithful Abraham."
III. Consider, thirdly, the riches — THE WONDROUS RICHES, THAT ARE TO BE FOUND IN THIS BLESSING. "I will bless thee." Ah! what is there not included in this one idea? What limit is there, what boundary? What adequate conception can we form of the words — "I will bless thee"? It is not a mere general promise; it is a peculiar, personal, individual promise. For while all the members form one body, yet each member stands alone, and wants its own individual blessing; and each child of God wants his own individual blessing, and he has this individual promise given to him personally, the same as if there were no other upon the face of this earth. But here is another promise concerning them: not only "I will bless thee," but "I will make thy name great." This would almost seem as if it must belong exclusively to Abraham. The name of Abraham, you know, was a sort of object of idolatrous worship to the Jew: "We be Abraham's seed," said they, "and were never in bondage to any man." "Think not," preached John the Baptist, "to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." He brought down their high thoughts, their carnal confidences, their reposing in Abraham, and laid them low; and there was no greater hindrance that He had to contend with than this. The parallelism, I confess, seems to cease here; and yet it is but in look — it is not in reality. I know the world has all mean words and mean names for the child of God. A saint — oh! it is the scorn of the world; it is the very ridicule of the world. "Good man" — "man of piety" — "excellent man!" — that may do; but a saint! — it is a term of ridicule. A saint? what a term of glory! Set apart by God, from before all worlds, for Himself; purchased by "the blood of the everlasting covenant," and sanctified by God the eternal Spirit. See what a name this is; it is indeed "a great name." A Christian — everyone has that name now; yet if I look at what a real Christian is, what a name it is! Anointed of the Holy Ghost with that unction that cometh down from Aaron, the true High Priest, our true Aaron, our great Melchisedec, flowing down from His head to the very skirts of His clothing; partaker of that Divine unction that teacheth all things; what a name of glory is His! Compared with it, all earthly names sink just into nothing. Children! dear children! And, a brother of Christ! But let me rather dwell on the third clause — "thou shall be a blessing." There is something deeply affecting in the thought that an ungodly man is no blessing; he can be no blessing. Oftentimes he is the very opposite of blessing. An ungodly man is an evil, be he where he may. How many a father is a curse to his whole family! How many a mother is a plague sore to her whole family! How many a child is as a curse to all around! These things are not imaginations; they are truths — awful, solemn truths. But the child of God is a blessing, wherever he is. Wherever he acts as a child of God, in proportion as he bears the image of his Master, and reflects that image, he is a blessing; however feeble his gift, however small his grace, however circumscribed his place, he is a blessing, wherever he is and whatever he does. How shall I set before you the blessing attending holy example? Who can say how great a blessing attends the bold avowal of principles, the bold declaration of truth, the bold manifestation that we are on the Lord's side?
(J. H. Evans, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: