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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

They remained in Haran till the Lord appeared again to Abraham.

On this occasion, the Lord came to show him the land he was to go to, but did not immediately name it.

He appears only to have told him to travel eastward until He met him again; for it is written, that he went in that direction, "not knowing whither he went".

At this interview in Haran, the Lord said to Abram, "I will make of thee A GREAT NATION, and I will bless thee and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Heb.

11:8,10).

Alluding to this promise, the apostle says, that in making it, "the gospel was preached to Abraham" -- the glad tidings of blessedness to the nations, when Abraham and his descendants should be great, and renowned throughout the earth.

Abraham believed this gospel promisorily announced to him by the Lord God.

Nor was his faith inoperative.

It was a living, moving faith -- a faith through which he obtained a good report.

By the influence of the faith, which embraces the things hoped for, it is testified that Abraham "when he was called to go out into a country which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

For he looked for the city having foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (Heb.

11:8,10).

He turned his back on Babel, and with Sarai, and his nephew, Lot, and all his substance, he left his father's house, crossed the Euphrates and the Jordan, and entered the land of Canaan, still travelling onward until he arrived at Sichem, in the plain of Moreh.

Having come thus far into the country, the Lord appeared again to Abram to let him know that he was in the land He intended to show him; and added this remarkable promise, saying, "Unto thy SEED will I give this land".

Let us pause here in the biography of Abram, and consider this promise.

Here was a country, lying between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean, in which were Abraham and all his house with his flocks and herds, and which was in the actual possession of warlike tribes, living in cities walled up to heaven; concerning this country, the Lord, to whom heaven and earth belong, said to Abraham, I will give it to thy Seed, when as yet he had no child.

But it is particularly interesting to know who is intended by Abraham's Seed in this promise?

Is it the "great nation" spoken of in the former promise; or, is it some particular personage to whom the land of Canaan is here promised as an inheritance?

I shall offer no opinion upon the subject, but let the apostile to the Gentiles answer the question.

In writing to the disciples in Galatia about the inheritance, he says, "The promises were made to Abraham and to his Seed.

God saith not, And to seeds as of many persons; but as of one person, as it is written, And unto thy Seed, which is Christ" (Gal.

3:16).

The apostle tells us that the land of Canaan was promised to the Christ when God said to Abraham, "Unto thy Seed will I give this land".