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Blessed to Be a Great Nation

September 11, 2019
By Martin Luther

"I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you."

GENESIS 12:2

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Blessed to Be a Great Nation

The first gift is that Abraham will be "a great nation," that is, that his descendants will have a kingdom, power, wealth, laws, ceremonies, a church, etc. For this is what is properly called a nation. But the second gift is that this nation will endure, as Psalm 89:30-33 explains uncommonly well: "If his children forsake My Law and do not walk according to My ordinances, if they violate My statutes and do not keep My commandments, then I will punish their transgressions with the rod and their iniquity with scourges; but I will not remove from him My steadfast love, or be false to My faithfulness." Truly, that people was often afflicted. The tribe of Benjamin was almost entirely slain. The kingdom of Israel was utterly destroyed. The tribe of Judah, too, was weakened in various ways by the Babylonian kings and then by the Syrians and the Egyptians. And yet that people was preserved by God until the promise concerning Christ would be fulfilled. Then began the real blessing and the real increase, because in place of the few unbelieving Jews the fullness of the Gentiles came in, and the seed of Abraham truly became like the sand of the sea and the stars of the heavens (Genesis 22:17). Therefore it endures to this day and will endure until the end of the world.