Hebrews 12:20-22: Faith for Future Generations
Read: Hebrews 11:20-22
The predictions of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph all contend with the future, principally the time when the nation of Israel would come into the land of Canaan (The Promised Land) and possess it. God had spoken to Abraham concerning the Promised Land (Genesis 17:8, Genesis 17:19) and his descendants had undoubtedly heard these promises and had received from God their own promises. Here, the author of Hebrews makes mention of the prophetic promises given to each by the one generation to the next: Isaac to Jacob and Esau (Genesis 27:27-40), Jacob to the Sons of Joseph (Genesis 48:5-22), and Joseph to the nation of Israel (Genesis 50:24-25). The things spoken by the patriarchs to their descendants came to pass in the manner in which the spoke each building on the promises they had been given.
The ultimate fulfillment of the promises of Abraham came through Christ (Genesis 12:1-3, Galatians 3:7-9, Galatians 3:16-19, Galatians 3:23-29). Abraham’s biological offspring was Isaac and Jacob through whom Christ came. Christ was both the Son of God and the descendant of Abraham through whom the world would be blessed. Salvation comes to all who hear and believe the gospel, regardless of their nationality, race, gender, family heritage, or social status. It is available to all who believe.
The promises of Christ are based track record of fulfilled promises spanning all of history and are vindicated by the historical fact of his resurrection. When Jesus says that he would return in the way that he went away and grant life to all those who believe he wasn’t speaking in uncertain terms, rather as his biological ancestors did concerning the promises they gave to their progeny. Christians nowadays can claim these promises and teach them to the next generation whether they be their own children or those who they share the gospel with and believe. The principle of instilling faith from one generation to the next is to help each successive generation look forward to the fulfillment of promises and live according to them.
Lord, I’ve received the promise! Help me give it to the next generation!