Two thousand years passed between the time of Adam and Eve and when Abraham arrived on the scene. That was a long time from the first prophecy given in Genesis 3:15. God was certainly patient! Almost everything we know about these first 2000 years of humanity is recorded in the first eleven chapters of Genesis. While God does not give us all the details of what occurred and why, there are some very remarkable people and events during this time.
Genesis 5 records the genealogy starting with Adam. Adam lived 930 years. Enoch, the father of Methuselah, walked with God and lasted 365 years until “he was no longer there”. He never died but was taken up by God. Methuselah, the oldest man, lived 969 years. But after Methuselah’s time, the world was significantly changed forever. It had become extremely evil and violent, and there was only one righteous man left – Noah, and his family. They were saved by God from the Great Flood which wiped out all the evil and started humanity over again. Life spans were decreased, and the world and climate changed. Some 700 years after this event, the people tried to build a monument to their own greatness (calling themselves gods) and worshipping creation instead of the Creator. So God scattered the people into different groups by separating their languages, and this became the beginning of different nations.
By the time Abraham arrived, around 2000 BC, he was living a life of luxury in the city of Ur, now modern-day Iraq. The culture had advanced extremely well since the years after the flood and beginning of nations. They were advanced in the areas of arts and sciences, and had been writing for about one thousand years. Their standard of living was high, with the average middle-class home having 10-20 rooms and over 2000 square feet (Archeology and Bible History, Joseph Free, p. 49). But God called Abraham out of this life of luxury to lead a nation who would carry God’s story forward through history to all nations. God was ready to begin the prophecy stated in Genesis 3:15. Abraham left his former life behind, all for his faith and obedience to God, and the first covenant between God and His people was created. This changed everything. It changed the history of mankind forever, and religion as we know it today was first established.
This is the second prophecy, the Abrahamic Covenant:
Go out from your land,
and your father’s house
to the land that I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation,
I will bless you,
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
I will curse those who treat you with contempt,
and all the peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.
God promised three blessings to Abraham: land, a great nation, and all people will be blessed through you. We are still living out this first covenant today. The land and nation were fulfilled in the later chapters of Genesis, and the third promise – a blessing to all people – has been fulfilled through Jesus Christ, a descendent from this nation and the One who came for all people.
May you get to know the God of Abraham this Christmas season.
He is the One who establishes a covenant promise with His people
to never leave or forsake them, and to be a blessing to all people.
* Merry Christmas *