A GREAT BLESSING AND A GOOD NAME Andy Hollifield 9-22-17
Genesis 12:1-3 Now the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: (2) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: (3) And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
That’s simple enough isn’t it? Be obedient to the Lord and he will bless us. If he did it for Abram, he will do it for us. He will make our name great and we will be a blessing. The word “blessing” is used only 67 times in the bible. You would think it would be a lot more. Of all 67 times the word “blessing” is used, only one time is it talking about an individual being a blessing to others. That time is in Genesis 12:2. Zechariah 8:13 speaks about Israel and Judah as nations that will be a blessing. “And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and the house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.” Nothing can take the place of a good name and quite often a good name is taken for granted. When it comes to obedience, that comes a lot harder at times than at others. Imagine if God told you to pack up and leave your family and job, etc…, How would you feel about? And more importantly, would you do it? God was very plain and direct. In Deuteronomy 11:26-28 “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; (27) A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: (28) And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.” There it is again; obey and be blessed or disobey and you will be turned into hell if you refuse to repent. My point is simply this: of the other 65 times the word blessing is used, most are speaking about people asking God to give them a blessing. Israel developed a habit that we would do well to learn from and not replicate. They were faithful when they had great blessing and forgot God when things were just in a normal state. That is a dangerous habit to get into.
I didn’t want to focus too much on losing blessings but rather on how you get them to start with. The easy answer is to just be obedient at all times to him. If we look back at the history of Israel we will see that it is that great nation of Abraham that God had promised him. Abram had picked up and moved when God told him to without even knowing where he was going. It was that kind of faith in his God that made him a blessing to his people and earned him the good name that he had. If you look at the life of Abraham, it is far from perfect and at times not even close. The first place he came up short of the will of God was when he left Haran. In Genesis 12:4, we find that Abraham took Lot with him when he left. God had told him to leave his kindred. He never told him to take Lot with him. That may not seem like a big thing until you look at the stuff that Lot got mixed up in and Abraham had to run to his rescue. It started there and then continued with their separation on the mountain. That was when Lot sealed his destiny when he looked toward Sodom. Lot went toward the plains of Jordan and eventually couldn’t help but go to Sodom. He was drawn away with the lust of the eyes I would imagine. It didn’t take long before he had gotten used to the lifestyles of Sodom and whether or not he participated, he was obviously not standing against it. He was even willing to turn over his daughters to these people. He left at least two daughters behind because he had never stood for the Lord and his newfound concern only made him look like a hypocrite. He later wound up in a cave with both daughters and they got him drunk and had relations with him so he would have heirs. All of this because Abraham didn’t fully follow God’s instructions when he left Haran.
Still, even with all of his faults and failures, God called him his friend. That brings us to me and you. In spite of all of our faults and failures and sin, Jesus is still willing to accept me and you. If we will submit ourselves to God as Abraham did, God can still use us to be a great blessing to those we are around. In spite of where all we have messed up, God can pick up those broken pieces and restore your joy and put things back together again in a way that pleases him. He can still give you a good name that you can rejoice in. With a good name, it will get you an audience among folks that will listen and give heed to what you say because of your good name. If God can make a great nation out of Abraham in spite of his disobedience and still give him a good name, what can he do with you and I if we submit to him? A great blessing and a good name; we can have both when we submit to the will of the Lord in our lives. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!