Recently I read a blog post which presented an excerpt from a theologian (Robert Reymond) showing the unity of the Book of Genesis solely with internal evidence. As we know some will say that the first 11 chapters of Genesis are “mythological” and not “historic” and that Genesis only gets historical starting with Abraham. The theologian points out that after the Fall of Adam God made a prophetic promise (Genesis 3:15). After the Flood God not only made a covenant with Noah but through Noah made a prophetic promise (Genesis chapter 9) which builds upon the proto-evangelism prophecy (Genesis 3:15) and which promises blessing upon Japheth, the racial ancestor of many Gentiles, and not just to Shem&, the racial ancestor of the Semitic races. We come to chapter 11 and we have another great event which would affect all of humanity until the end of time : the Tower of Babel Dispersion. Well after this great judgment did God just forsake all of the Gentiles and then consign them at best to a “Plan B” or “Parenthese” in His eternal plan of salvation if the Jews would one day refuse “His Kingdom offer”? No! God made another prophetic promise which promised blessing upon the nations. This one was made to Abraham who was uncircumcised and who happened to come from Mesopotamia. Before there was a racial Israel to speak of. In that initial promise to Abraham God promised a blessing to all of the nations* centuries before Moses. After each Genesis Crisis (Fall, Flood, Babel) God made a prophetic promise which was not just limited to Shem and his physical descendants or just to Abraham and his physical descendants. Chapters 11 and 12 are linked together by God’s third prophetic promise which answers to the Babel dispersion as the previous prophetic promises answered to previous universal judgments. If chapter 12 is historic then so must chapter 11 be because both are linked together. We see the mind of one writer and unity of thought in Genesis.
It was not God’s intention after the Babel dispersion to forsake all of the other linguistic groups and races and only bless the Hebrew people. It was His intention from the beginning to bless people of different races and tongues in Christ. Three times Humanity blew it and three times God makes a prophetic promise of grace. And what’s very interesting is that God had reiterated the Genesis 12 promise made to Abraham in chapter 22 after Abraham was ready to sacrifice his son Isaac which typically foreshadowed God the Father giving His Son as a sacrifice (John 3:16). The blessing to all nations and the “land promise”** were connected to this sacrifice of a Son. The Cross was never a Plan B due to racial Israel “rejecting the Kingdom offer” and God having to go to “a backup plan” because racial Israel “threw Him a curveball” which somehow “caught Him off guard”. The proto-evangelism of Genesis 3:15 prophetically declared the suffering of the seed of the woman, Christ the seed of Abraham and the seed of David, at least 2000 years before there would be a racial Israel to speak of. The Cross was part of the prophecy of Genesis 3:15, the first prophecy given in the Bible. I don’t see “The Cross as a Plan B” in Genesis. With the light of the New Testament I see Gentiles included in the plan of salvation from day one.
& we’re missing the boat if we only interpret Noah’s prophecy materially and not spiritually; we should interpret the Old Testament as Christ and the Apostles did; Scofield Notes should be “Left Behind”
* please read Revelation chapter 5 : all tongues and nations and races before the Throne of Christ… Genesis and Revelation are linked together… Revelation shows a reversal of the Genesis judgments… death and disease are banished… all the nations are united… paradise is restored… man will fellowship with God freely again without shame or guilt… theocracy is restored… no need for a physical temple… and no income taxes!
** “possessing the gates of his enemies” – see Matthew chapter 16 and the “gates of hell” promise; Christ, the true seed of Abraham, possesses the gates of all His enemies; that’s why the “gates of hell” will not prevail against the Church
But is that just my opinion? How did the Apostle Paul by the grace of the Holy Ghost interpret those Genesis promises?
“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before THE GOSPEL UNTO ABRAHAM, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8)
How more plain can it be? Paul links the promise to Abraham to the justification of the Gentiles through faith. Paul used the word “Gospel”. Paul continues:
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16)
The seed is Christ. There can be no debate on the issue. The Holy Spirit has spoken through His servant Paul. If the land promise was made to Abraham’s seed which is Christ then Christ, being “under the law” (Galatians 4:4), inherited “the land” having perfectly obeyed the Father and fulfilled all of the covenant obligations. Having received greater revelation and having a better historical perspective we as Christians know that all the earth has been given to Christ (Matthew chapter 28) so we cannot limit “land promises” to Palestine*** alone. The “land promise” is in Christ, the true seed of Abraham, and it’s for all true Christians, Jews and Gentiles. And our Jerusalem is the heavenly Jerusalem. Just like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob we believe our city is celestial (Hebrews chapter 11).
*** I use the word “Palestine” to avoid confusion with the very charged-with-meaning word “Israel”
Paul interpreted the “land promise” in Ephesians chapter 6 and extended it to Gentiles who mainly composed the congregation in Ephesus:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long ON THE EARTH.” (Ephesians 6:1-3)
Did Paul by the Holy Spirit limit the “land promise” to Palestine? No!
“For the promise, that he should be the heir OF THE WORLD, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13)
Now when speaking of the promise made to Abraham and reiterated a few times does Paul talk a great deal about the “land promise” or does he not rather put more emphasis on a more important “promise”?
“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT through faith.” (Galatians 3:14)
Paul links the Holy Spirit to the promise made to Abraham. If someone who claims to be a Christian is more preoccupied about Middle East real estate than about the Holy Spirit he or she has a serious spiritual problem and is hermeneutically-challenged. What greater promise can God make than a promise about Himself? What greater gift could God give but Himself? What is a piece of land compared to eternal salvation and fellowship with God? What is a piece of land in comparison to knowing the Truth?
I challenge any dispensationalist to go through the whole New Testament and look up every quotation of the Old Testament found in the New Testament and show me that the apostles and Christ always understood and interpreted the OT promises dispensationally.