Advent Calendar: December 4th

December 4
Read: Genesis 12:1–3, 7

Thoughts for Parents

Yesterday we read that God promised to crush the head of the serpent, our enemy, Satan, through the weakness of a Man born to a weak, shamed woman. Today we see the Lord reiterating this promise of blessing to another flawed person, a man named Abraham and his flawed wife, Sarah. God promised that through one of Abraham’s descendants, He would bring blessing on the whole world. But this promise of blessing to the whole earth wasn’t fulfilled in Isaac or Jacob. No, these sons weren’t the ones who would bring the blessing. The Apostle Paul applies the promise of blessing to Jesus,

 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your  offspring,” who is Christ (Galatians 3:16).

In his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter identified Jesus as the one who would bring the promised blessing,

You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, “And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” God having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness (Acts 3:25–26).

Jesus, the One born in a manger, is no mere infant of questionable lineage. He’s a conqueror who will bring blessing to millions, to Jews and to Gentiles. He doesn’t do this by making us wealthy or giving us our perfect life now. He does this by turning our hearts toward Him and away from our sin. He gives us faith to believe in His promise and He proves that He is trustworthy by living and dying in our place. He makes us believe that He is that good and that loving. He is the promised blessing.

Thoughts for Children

If you were going to pick a person to be your most important warrior in a battle, who would you choose? You would probably choose the person from the most powerful family with the strongest mom and dad. You would probably choose the richest person who could buy the best weapons. You would probably choose someone who was very popular so that everybody would want to be on his side. Well, that is not how God chose who was going to be His most important warrior. Just like we read yesterday, God promised another group of people that He was going to send someone to be the Conqueror of Satan. In the Old Testament, God promises over and over again that He is getting ready to send someone. And just like you are waiting for Christmas Day, the people in the Bible kept waiting and waiting for the conqueror to come. God didn’t choose His warrior from the strongest or the richest or the most popular family. God chose His warrior from a family that nobody knew. God didn’t promise to send a conqueror because the people that needed rescuing were good and kind. God sent a conqueror because the people that needed rescuing were weak and couldn’t fight on their own.

Actually He sent a warrior to the very people that were fighting against Him. He wanted to help and take care of the people who were His enemies, the people that disobeyed Him. God acted in this way because He is the most loving and the most kind; God does this to show us His love and His power. God gives to us because He loves to bless His people. He loves to take care of His forever family. The conqueror that was promised was Jesus. And Christmas Day, the day you are waiting for, was the exact same day all the people in the Bible were waiting for too, the day that Jesus the conqueror would be born.