These Dust-like Descendants
Just One Man
Having looked at the apparently inconsistent aspect of God’s promises, in regard to how most Christians interpret them, let’s turn next to what I’m suggesting is that other aspect of those promises. Let’s look at how they should be understood in terms of their paradoxical nature. Remember how we previously defined a paradox: A paradox is “an apparently contradictory statement that, when investigated or explained, may actually prove to be true.” In this case, I’d suggest that by facing the truth contained in these passages we’re reminded of why God’s word is so full of apparent contradictions. That’s because built within them are hidden nuggets of truth just waiting be mined by anyone who is willing to push beyond the apparent inconsistencies in order to embrace what is buried there in the form of a paradox.
In this case, what we see, if we’re willing to see, is: While most modern thinkers, Christian and non-Christian alike, find it difficult to accept that God could still be in the business of guiding individuals and nations, these passages fly directly in the face of that idea. What’s more, for those who are willing to see: These passages actually form the basis of a major turning point in human history as God, the Great Outsider, established here a new relationship with fallen humanity, in order to reverse the downward influence of Satanic dominion.
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So, when skeptics and critics insist that the God of all people would never concern Himself with the descendants of just one man, we can point to these passages where God says, “I will make My covenant between Me and you, Abraham, and I will greatly increase your numbers.” When they insist that the God of all nations would never concern Himself with the nations descended from just one man, we can point to where God says, “I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you, Abraham, and your descendants for generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants.” And when they insist that the King of Heaven would never concern Himself with the kings reigning over peoples descended from just one man, we point to where God says, “I will make you very fruitful, Abraham; I’ll make nations of you, and kings will come from you.”
In all these ways, then, the omnipotent, the omniscient, the omnipresent God reveals His willingness and commitment to localize that presence and power in order to stoop down to rescue fallen humanity from the grip of darkness, disease, and death. And while the majority of mankind resists such a grand possibility, these passages will, if given a chance through historical analysis and investigation, prove to be the ultimate touchstone in proving that God is no liar and no fraud. When God states His intentions, He doesn’t change His mind; when God makes promises to someone, He always makes good on those promises.
That’s why it’s so important that we never avoid this issue concerning these tripartite foundational promises of God. And while many admit that their candidate for the fulfillment of these promises lack two of the three indicators of this people of Israel—that of their dust-like numbers and their producing many nations—they still insist that many kings have arisen from the nation of the Jews. That’s because The Bible does record a long line of Israelite kings, from Saul to Zedekiah. The only problem with that proposition is, the promises of God don’t just encompass those made to Abraham in his lifetime. They also include promises made to Abraham’s descendants, each in their own turn.
To King David, then, God not only confirmed his kingship over Israel, but through the mouth of Nathan, the prophet, He amplified His original promise to Abraham:
Now then, you’re to tell My servant David, this is what the Lord of Hosts says: “I took you from the pasture, from following the flock, to be the ruler of My people Israel. I’ve been with you wherever you’ve gone, and I’ve cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I’ll make your name like the greatest in the land.
“And I’ll provide a place for My people Israel and will plant them so they can live in a place of their own and be disturbed no more. No longer will the sons of wickedness oppress them as they did at the beginning and have done since the day I appointed judges over My people Israel. I’ll give you rest from all your enemies...
“I’ll personally establish a house for you. And when your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I’ll raise up your descendant after you, who will come from your own body, and I’ll establish his kingdom. He’ll build a house for My Name, and I’ll establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I’ll be his Father, and he’ll be My son. When he does wrong, I’ll discipline him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.
“But My loving devotion will never be removed from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I moved out of your way. Your house and kingdom will endure forever before Me, and your throne will be established forever.”1
In other words, the kings who are descended from Abraham and Sarah aren’t just going to enter the stage of world history and then exit stage left, never to be seen or heard from again. If God’s promises are true and sure, then in addition to the promises concerning these dust-like descendants who are to comprise many nations, they’re also to have kings and queens that rule and reign over them for all time.