Podcast cover of David Guzik for the Enduring Word Podcast Through the Bible

Genesis 10 and 11 – The Dividing of Nations

Part 15 in Pastor David Guzik’s in-depth look at the book of Genesis, detailing chapter 10 and chapter 11, the table of nations and their division, the tower of Babel, and the first mention of Abram, who would become Abraham.

Land, Nation, Blessing

Land, Nation, Blessing

I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
(Genesis 12:2-3)

God told a Mesopotamian man from an idol-worshipping family to leave his land and his family, and to receive a wonderful promise. God promised Abram a land, a nation, and a blessing.

Land, Nation, Blessing

Abram only partially obeyed. First, he traveled half-way to the place God told him to go, and he brought his father and nephew with him, though God had told him to leave his family. Yet in God’s grace and goodness, He worked with Abram’s partial obedience and eventually Abram came to the land of Canaan – the land God promised him.

Abram would become a giant of faith, even being the father of the believing (Galatians 3:7-9); yet he did not start as a hero of faith. We see Abram as an example of growing in faith and obedience. Through faith and patience, he inherited the promises of God.

God promised Abram a land. In Genesis 12:1 God directed Abram to the land He would show him.

God promised to make a nation from Abram. He would have children, grandchildren, and further descendants, enough to populate a great nation. This would make the name of Abram great. There is probably no more honored name in history than the name of Abram, who is honored by Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

God also promised He would bless those who bless you and to curse him who curses you. This promise – inherited by the covenant descendants of Abram, the Jewish people – remains true and is a root reason for the decline and death of many empires. Historically speaking, nations that have treated the Jewish people well have often been blessed. The opposite may be seen in the fall of the empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Spain radically declined after the Inquisition and Poland fell after her pogroms. Germany was severely humbled after the Holocaust, and Britain lost her empire after breaking faith with Israel.

God promised to bless Abram, but also that he would be a blessing, even to the point where all the families of the earth would be blessed in Abram. This amazing promise was fulfilled in the Messiah that came from Abram’s lineage. God’s blessing to Abram was not for his own sake, or even the sake of the Jewish nation to come. It was for the whole world, for all the families of the earth through Jesus Christ. Revelation 5:9 tells us that the work of Jesus will touch every people group on the earth.

Whether you are a genetic descendant of Abram or not, this blessing is for you – in and through Jesus Christ, who is the fulfillment of the blessing promised to Abram. By faith, receive that blessing in Jesus today.

Click here for David’s commentary on Genesis 12

Click Here for Daily Devotionals from David