Who is the seed of Abraham?

God first promised to give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s “seed” AFTER Abraham entered the land of Canaan (Gen 12: 7). At that time, Sarah was 65 years old and barren. However, every time I read the text, I take it at face value. I always believed that God meant that Abraham and Sarah would have a child who would inherit the land of Canaan.  Scriptures subsequently reveal that God meant exactly that.

AFTER Abraham and his nephew Lot separated, God reinforced the promise. He said that Abraham’s seed would inherit the land forever and that his seed will be like the dust of the earth (Genesis 13: 15-17). Lot had left Haran with him and had also prospered in the land. However, he occupied the same land space with Abraham and was pushing for full ownership. This was reflected in the conflict between  his and Abraham’s employees

Apostle Paul later revealed that when God  spoke about Abraham’s seed and not seeds  when He made the Covenant.  Paul explained that Jesus is the seed of Abraham and that He broke the curse of sin by dying for the sins of the world. Apostle Luke traced Christ’s family tree back to Abraham, showing that God had fulfilled the promise that all of the earth would be blessed in him (Luke 2: 23 – 38 & Galatians 3: 8, 16).

2.   God Promised Abraham that his OWN seed and not a stranger would participate in the covenant

a. The Oath, Covenant or Promise

Genesis 15 is a very important because it documents God’s oath that Abraham’s own seed – not a stranger, would be his heir. This oath was made during an official visit to Abraham in which Abraham had asked about the issue of his descendants. He wanted to know how his seed would inherit the land since he was childless. He reminded  God that he had not been blessed with a son and that Eliezar of Damascus (his Manager) was his heir.  More importantly, Eliezar was not the seed of Abraham and Sarah and therefore a foreigner to the Promise.

God responded by swearing that Abraham would indeed have a child.  Furthermore, God reinforced the Oath by showing Abraham the stars and swearing that his descendants would be as great in number. The scriptures then said that Abraham believed God and God counted him as a righteous man because of his faith (Genesis 15).

b. What were the 4 elements of this Covenant?

  1. Two parties – God and Abraham
  2. A Promise or Oath – God made a  promise that Abraham’s own child and not a stranger would become his heir and inherit the promise to be God’s people. Apostle Paul confirmed that God had sworn or made an oath to Abraham when He gave the Promises. Moreover, it is impossible for God to lie and He speaks by oath (Genesis 22: 16 – 19; Hebrews 6: 13 – 18). God never broke His covenant to be the God of the Jews although they deserted Him many times to serve other gods.
  3. Belief – Abraham believed the Word of God. God always keeps His Word.
  4. Terms and conditions – Abraham would obey God and have the heir of the Promise with Sarah.  The terms and conditions set by God did not include  Hagar or any other woman.

3. Abraham asked God to  sign the Agreement

Abraham was not satisfied with the Spoken Word of  God and asked for a sign (Genesis 15: 8).  God commanded him to get some animals and to place them on an altar for sacrifice.  Therefore, God asked Abraham to place these animals on the altar –  a 3 year old heifer, 3 year old she goat and a 3 year old ram, one turtle dove and one pigeon. The sacrifice was the signature of the Covenant with  Abraham.

4.  But Abraham broke his covenant with God…

God’s plan was for Abraham’s seed to be his and Sarah’s child.  Scriptures  clearly revealed that God judged his marriage to Hagar as a sin for which atonement and restitution were made.

Read more in previous posts:

The Covenant that Abraham made with God

What did Abraham do to break his covenant with God? – his polygamy and birth of  Ishmael***

God’s advanced atonement for Abraham\’s sin of polygamy – second marriage to Hagar

Timing of God’s advanced atonement for Abraham

Abraham makes up for his sin