Gen 17:4 As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.
Gen 6:4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
For some the battles between Abrahamic faiths are rather ironic for they say they are of the same God. However, Abraham was the Father of many nations ie Israel and the Arab nations have a common ancestor rather than necessarily worshiping the same God of Abraham or doing what Abraham would have done in their own faith walk.
Our spiritual family lineage is of great blessings but it does not mean much if our faith tradition doesn’t build on the faith of Abraham. By the time of Jesus, the Jews wanted to stand on the blessings of Abraham of whose covenant with God was a matter of grace, but yet they were living their faith based on the Mosaic Covenant which was essentially blessings by the good religious works and morality.
What did Abraham do? He didn’t worship idols as some faiths that revere Abraham as their spiritual father do, for he had worshiped God directly and not through the saints, the angels nor the prophets. These didn’t come from Abraham, but from “their own father” ie from their own religious and moral traditions apart from the Abrahamic Covenant.
Abraham was certaintly difficult to follow. There was no man made mediator or brigde between God and man, or co-redeemer saint as the largest Christian faith now practices. He lived in a large tent apart from the massive religious institutions and organizational religious setup we now have. He was married to Sarah whilst in some Christian faith, the priests are married to the church or to money.
Was Abraham a saint? we practised a form of idol worship where Christianity is based on a perceived morality. Abraham was no saint being in bed with the maid Hagar and bearing a illigitimate son, Ishmael. Yet, God received him as righteous not by works but by faith – faith even to sacrifice his “only” son in a test of faith by God.
The Abrahamic Covenant did not apply to Ishmael, but to Issac only who was born not out of works but of faith and grace from God. Hence, the civil religious war for the last four thousand years to gain recognition for these blessings as a right by eliminating Israel, the rightful son.
However, Israel had evidently boasted too much! Jesus was so perturbed by their constant claim of blessings on the account of their ties with Abraham without having the right faith beliefs that he declared:-
John 8:39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”
In John 8:39, Jesus’ replies were rather suggestive, for how would Jesus knew that Abraham didn’t kill any messengers from God! What did Abraham do? who was the “man” who told Abraham about the truth from God whom Abraham paid homage to rather than trying to kill the messenger from God?
We are reminded that in Gen 18, the Lord physically appeared to Abraham by the terebinth tree of Mamre. There were the appearance of three men and Abraham recognizes that they were of God and quickly bowed down and offered worship of a young and tender calf.
Gen 18:13 And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
Sarah laughed when the heavenly strangers again proclaimed that Sarah will have a son. It was a mixture of joy and unbelief. The son Isaac was born, the son of faith, the son of the covenant. This was the truth from God spoken by Jesus in John 8:39.
Four thousand years later, God visited again physically. Jesus came down from heaven. The descendents of Abraham, of Isaac, now no longer welcomes nor worship Jesus, nor prepare a good meal for Him. Now, they tried to kill Jesus, they tried to kill God Himself. Their Father Abraham did no such things.
We believe that Jesus was one of the three who visited Abraham in Gen 18, for the birth of Isaac ushered in a long line to King David and then to Joseph and Mary, culminating in the birth of Jesus Christ Himself.
Mary was the epitomy of Sarah and just as Sarah bored the son of promise, Mary ultimately fulfilled the Abrahamic Covenant of grace by bearing Jesus Christ bringing the blessings and sonship of Abraham to the nations. In Jesus Christ, came the Son of God, whose death and resurrection would join the gentiles (non-Jews) to the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant. In Christ Jesus, Abraham truly became a father of many nations (Gen 17:5) beyond Israel.
The covenant of Abraham initiated by circumcision symbolising both the spilling of blood to affirm the covenant and the blessing of God to the seed coming out of the male sexual organ which has been circumcised. Today we too are circumsized, our hardened hearts so tuned to our own perceived morality and good works, to be changed to be a softened heart vary of the Grace of God. We are circumsised by the blood of the Lamb and by our proclamation of faith.
Is there anything too hard to the Lord (Gen 18:14)? As Christian Gays, how do we desire that God will use us to bless ourselves, our family/friends, our community of Christian faith and the nations? Does the Abrahamic Covenant of God’s unmerited blessings and grace apply to GLBT people for whom so much of our basic rights have been taken away and who have suffered injustice!
The question will soon no longer be about GLBT basic rights per say which will come even as great nations such as India recognises the absurdness of anti-gay laws. There is a change coming both in heaven and soon on earth despite opposite from the Catholic Church on earth.
The question soon would be how will our Christian faith journey as gay people through incredible pain and sufferings bring a message of hope, faith and grace to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ?
Lord Jesus, may the blessings of Abraham, the blessings of your grace and mercy, your blessings of abundance, your blessings of a great legacy be unto us, be unto our lives today as GLBT Christians. We remember your promise to Sarah – Is there anything too hard for the Lord? May we offer our sacrifice and praise to You O Lord through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour who died for us as a perfect sacrifice once and for all. As gay people, everything has been taken away from us. Yet, we believe today for a legacy because of Jesus Christ.
Let us remember today that the power of the Cross is so great that even the blessings of Abraham two thousand years earlier came through Jesus Christ, for Abraham looked forward by faith to the Cross, whilst we look backwards to the completed works at the Cross of Calvary.
Let us claim today, the blessings of Abraham and may the abundance of God flow in your life, and may it overflows to your community of faith and beyond that they too experience the love of God in their lives.