Today's Reading: Genesis 15:1-6
"Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." (Genesis 15:5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. After the fall into sin, God made a promise to Adam, Eve, and all people in the form of a curse to Satan: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."
God repeated his promise to Abraham. Through the Offspring, or Seed of Abraham, all nations on earth would be blessed. God's promise passed down from Abraham to Isaac, and from Isaac to Jacob, and from Jacob on down through the Old Testament history.
When Abraham's family tree was cut down because of Israel's wickedness, God repeated His promise: "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit" (Isaiah 11:1).
At the dawn of the New Testament, God's promise is planted, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. The long-expected Offspring, the Seed of Abraham, was born at last. "He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His Seed forever," Mary sings in the Magnificat.
Jesus is the Offspring of Abraham, the Seed by whom all nations of the earth are blessed. As Jesus approaches the cross, He declares, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit" (John 12:24).
And, as St. Paul declares, "In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith...And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free; From our fears and sins release us; Let us find our rest in Thee. Israel's hope and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art, Dear desire of ev'ry nation, Joy of ev'ry longing heart. (Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, LSB 338:1)