God’s Promises To Abraham, David, Jesus and You

The whole of the Bible, not just the New Testament by itself, is important for providing instruction concerning God’s Truth. In fact, most of New Testament teaching is based heavily on Old Testament principles. Nowhere is this more evident than in the promises that God has made in His Word. We have already learned about the first promise of a Savior, made to Adam and Eve after their transgression in Eden. Here’s a summary of the rest of the promises we will be considering in this section:

  1. Promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
  2. Promises to King David
  3. Promises to Jesus Christ
  4. Promises to Believers in Christ

We’ll look at each set in more detail:

Promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

Four thousand years ago God put into motion a major phase of his plan in calling out a people for his name. (Deut 28:9-10; Numbers 6:27. See also Acts 15:14). He did this by selecting a man, Abram (later named Abraham), and a woman, Sarai (later, Sarah), from Ur of the Chaldees, who were to be the father and mother of this nation. God spoke with Abram and told him to leave his country and go to a land that he would show him. (Genesis 12:1). He also promised Abram that he would be a great nation, and that not only would he be blessed, but that he would be a source of blessing for all the families of the earth. (Genesis 12:2-3). Abram and Sarai moved with other members of their family from Ur to Haran in Mesopotamia. It was here that Abram’s father Terah died. After this Abram and his relatives moved on to a land that was named after Noah’s grandson Canaan,(Genesis 9:18; Genesis 12:5) the son of Ham . This is the land we know today as Israel or Palestine.

After the journey from Haran, Abram and his family arrived in the town of Shechem where God promised Abram, that his descendants would inherit the land of Canaan. (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 15:18-20; Genesis 17:7-8). This promise was repeated to him several times. In due time Sarai conceived and gave birth to a son who was named Isaac, in accordance with God’s will. Genesis 17:19; Genesis 21:1-3). He was to be the son through whom the promises that God had made to Abram would be fulfilled. Shortly before the birth of Isaac Abram’s name was changed from Abram (meaning “exalted father”) to Abraham (meaning “father of a multitude”) to symbolize the role that he was to play as the father of many peoples. (Genesis 17:5-6. Abraham was also the father of other nations through his second wife Keturah. See Genesis 25:1-4).

The first major event recorded in the life of Isaac involved a request that God made of Abraham concerning him. God asked Abraham to take Isaac to mount Moriah, which is close to Jerusalem, (Genesis 22:1-2; 2 Chronicles 3:18), and offer him there as a burnt offering. Abraham showed great faith in determining to comply with God’s request, although an angel prevented him from actually carrying it out. It was after he had proved his faith in this way that God gave him the promise that his descendants would have dominion over their enemies.(Genesis 22:16-17). Abraham becomes the father of the Jewish nation (the term “Hebrew” is first used of him,) – see Genesis 14:13. He becomes father of the faithful: all those who live by faith in God.

Here’s a sample of the passages that concern God’s promises to Abraham:

“Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.…”. Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” – Genesis 12:1-3, 7
“The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.” – Genesis 13:14-16
“And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness” – Genesis 15:5-6
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4″Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” – Genesis 17:1-8
“(God) said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” – Genesis 22:16-18

From these texts, we can summarize these important promises God made to Abraham:

  • God promised the Land of Canaan (Israel) to Abraham and his offspring (descendants) forever.
  • Abraham would be the father of many nations
  • Abraham would have a great many descendants
  • Those who bless Abraham and his descendants would be blessed, those who curse him would be cursed.
  • Abraham and his descendants would be God’s people, and He would be their God, forever. (See also Revelation 21:3)

God is faithful, and does not break His word, so although these promises have yet to be fulfilled, they will be at some time in the future, and they can include us! We’ll see how later on.

Promises To King David

David was a faithful Israelite who was described as “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). He was also King of Israel for many years, and unlike many of the kings, he was considered righteous. David wanted to build a house in which to worship God, but instead God told him that He would make David’s lineage (his “house”) continue on forever.
This promise to David became an extension of the promises to Abraham, and introduced the notion of a future King and a Kingdom:

“When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. (Psalm 89:26-27). I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.” – 1 Chronicles 17:11-14

David had a son, Solomon, who did build a house, or temple, to God. However, Solomon’s reign did not last forever. Nor did his descendant’s. Even though aspects of this prophecy could be applied to Solomon, it has a more complete fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ, as we shall see next.

Promises To Christ

Jesus was to be the subject of God’s promises to David. He would be the true Son of God, in a very real and special way, as He would be conceived by means of the Holy Spirit, the power of God, overshadowing Mary. (Luke 1:35).

The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to bless her, and to explain how her Son would be the greater Son of David, spoken of in that prophecy to David 1,000 years before:

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” – Luke 1:31-33

Clearly, Gabriel is echoing the words of 1 Chronicles 17:11-14. Another New Testament passage also makes reference to this promise directly, when describing Christ’s superior position in the order of creation when compared to that of angels:

”having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? (see Psalm 2:7)
Or again,
“I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? – Hebrews 1:4-5

The promises to Abraham also have their primary fulfillment in Christ. You may recall how we learned that the promises were made to Abraham and his offspring (Genesis 13:15, for example). The apostle Paul explains the use of this word “offspring” in this way:

“Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.” – Galatians 3:16

So God’s promises to Abraham involved Christ – they pointed to Christ, and they were made for Him! To summarize, then, God promises Jesus Christ that he will:

  • Be the true Son of God
  • Sit on the throne of David
  • Reign over a never-ending Kingdom
  • Inherit the land promised to Abraham forever. (See Romans 4:13, where Paul identifies the “land” as encompassing the whole world.)

Although Christ was expected to come as a triumphant King during His ministry, instead He was subject to a humiliating death on the cross. But one day He will return from
heaven to claim what is rightfully His, what has been promised Him by His Father, and He will reign with the saints on earth forever.18 Concerning this Kingdom, the prophet Daniel writes:

“And in the days of those kings (at the end of human history) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,” – Daniel 2:44

Promises To Believers in Christ

Many of the promises that were given to Abraham and Christ also apply to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Earlier in Chapter 3 of Galatians, Paul writes about the association of those who live by faith, whether Jew or non-Jew, with Abraham:

“just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”- Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” – Galatians 3:6-9.

We become associated with Abraham if we believe God’s promises. We become “blessed with faithful Abraham”. We are also closely related to Christ through these same promises:

“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ… And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” – Galatians 3:26-27, 29

By belonging to Christ, through baptism (see article 8 ) and continued faith, we become the heirs of the promises made to Abraham, and will share in the rulership of God’s kingdom with Christ. This is the promise of eternal life, for all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. What a wonderful promise!

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4 Responses to God’s Promises To Abraham, David, Jesus and You

  1. I was wondering if that perhaps if I could be added onto your mailing list or what. Because I like getting things that is or that has Scriptures and that talks nothing but God or Jesus.

  2. Greetings!I am not ethnically a Jewish Christian yet I firmly believe that God’s promises to Abraham and to his descendants (Genesis 17:8) are binding, and that one day, in the near future, ethnic Israel will see the fulfillment of the same promises by inheriting the Land of Israel (Visit:> http://claudemariottini.com/2008/01/22/gods-promise-to-abraham/). As such, I praise God for His faithfulness to His people, the ethnic Israelis,”to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises” (Romans 9:4). At the same time, I believe that to all, Jew and Gentile, belong God’s promises to Abraham, in as much as these promises include spiritual blessings (Visit:>http://www.the-gospel-truth.info/bible-teachings/the-promise-to-abraham/). In fact, God’s promises to Abraham and to his seed (Christ or Messiah) have their proto-evangelical base in Genesis 1-3 and so, are meant for all mankind created after God’s image.(Visit:> http:/christianreading.com/jmartins/). Amen!

  3. elijah says:

    1.Where is the kingdom of God going to be? 2.when was satan thrown down, before or after creation of man? 3.what does the bible say about hell and the bible?.I will be grateful if you answer with scriptures.

  4. Roger says:

    Thank you. What a good overview of the 3 promises.

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