When Abraham died, five of the promises God made to him when He called him to leave his country, relatives, and fatherís house were fulfilled; two of the seven promises were not fulfilled; ďI will make you a great nation,Ē and ďIn you all the families of the earth will be blessed.Ē The occupation of the land from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates that God gave to the descendants of Abraham was not fulfilled when Abraham died. The occupation of the land from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates will be fulfilled in the second coming of Jesus Christ.
God began fulfilling the promise that the descendants of Abraham would be, if possible to count, as great as the visible stars in the sky with the birth of Ishmael and Isaac; even today God is fulfilling the promise to increase the physical number of the descendants of Abraham.
God fulfilled the prediction that the descendants of Abraham will be strangers in a land that is not theirs. Here is a bone of contention; when did the four hundred years begin and end. What are we told in the Bible? We are told in Genesis chapter thirty-seven, Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob was sold to the Midianite traders by his brothers and taken to Egypt. We are told Jacob and his sons went to Egypt during a time of famine. According to scholars there is anywhere from fifty to sixty years between the time Joseph was taken to Egypt by the Midianite traders and Jacob entering Egypt. Since Joseph is a descendant of Abraham, Joseph is the first descendant of Abraham to take up permanent residence in Egypt.
In Genesis chapter fifteen verse thirteen, we are told two things will happen to the descendants of Abraham; they will be enslaved and oppressed. Enslaved means to reduce to and hold in a state of servitude. The definition of oppressed is, to inflict injury on another without justification, and to lower in spirit and mood. The key word in the definition is justification. Justification is defined as, a statement of causes, grounds, or motives and a presentation intended to justify or defend something.
What is the king doing when he goes before his political and religious advisers; he is justifying an assumption. His assumption is based on the increase in the number of the sons of Israel living in Goshen. In the eyes of the king this increase was a major problem, and something must be done to solve the problem. Do you see what is happening in the world today and the Middle East?
The question is this, is it possible to be oppressed and not enslaved? We will see as we walk with the sons of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land.
Note in Genesis chapter fifteen verse thirteen the Lord uses the word land and in verse fourteen He uses the word nation. When the Lord uses the word nation He is isolating the judgment that will come upon those who enslaved and oppressed the descendants of Abraham, Egypt. Note also in verse sixteen the Lord said, the descendants of Abraham will come out of the nation He will judge in the fourth generation and return to the place where the Lord made the covenant with Abraham, He would give the descendants of Abraham the land between the river of Egypt and the river Euphrates. Where was Abraham when the Lord made this covenant, the land of Canaan?
In the fullness of time, the Lord fulfilled the promise He would judge the nation that enslaved and oppressed the descendants of Abraham, the sons of Israel (read Exodus chapters three through eleven Ė in a future study we will examine the judgment upon Egypt).
Following the judgment of Egypt the prediction the Lord will bring the sons of Israel out of the nation with many possessions was fulfilled (read Exodus chapter twelve).
There is good news in the preparation to bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt. The Lord told Moses, speaking to Moses from a burning bush, He has seen the affliction of His people who are in Egypt, heard their cry because of the taskmasters and has come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and take them to a land flowing with milk and honey. Note the Lord did not say Moses was going to deliver Godís people from the power of the Egyptians or take them to the land flowing in milk and honey. Moses will bring the sons of Israel from Egypt, but he will not deliver them from the power of the Egyptians. Moses is going to be the shepherd that will lead Godís flock, the sons of Israel out of Egypt and lead them to the land of Canaan.
Here is the good news for all the children of God, He has seen our affliction, heard our cries for help, and will one day come down and deliver all His children from the evil and wicked powers of this earth, both spiritual and physical powers, and take us to a land flowing with milk and honey. In the mean time God the Father has sent God the Holy Spirit to lead us through land we are strangers in. Now if that isnít good news for these trying days, I donít know what is.
Although the sons of Israel were not in the Promised Land, the promise to make Abraham a great nation was fulfilled on Mt. Sinai when God made His covenant with the sons of Israel through Moses and gave His law to Moses to give to the people. On that day Israel became a nation without a country. This is very important; Israel existed for nearly two thousand years as a nation without a country. Today, God is fulfilling a promise He made to the descendants of Abraham, the sons of Israel (read Deuteronomy chapter thirty).
God fulfilled the promise; He will bless all the families of the earth in Abraham in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In the near future the King of kings, Lord of lords and Judge of the heavens and earth will come and judge all the nations that have enslaved and oppressed the children of God, both Jew and Gentile. He will take His place on the throne of His father David and rule over all the nations. What a day that will be.