God promises to bless the world through Abraham’s family, despite their repeated failure.
God makes a promise to bless all nations through the family of Abraham. But with aging husbands, impatient matriarchs, deceptive brothers, and family betrayal, how will God’s promise prevail?
Genesis 12-50 Overview
God Calls Abraham
In chapters 1-11, the book of Genesis recounts God’s good world and humanity’s repeated rebellion. How will God restore blessing to the world? We find the answer in the family of Abraham.
God makes a covenant with Abraham, saying that all the nations will be blessed through his family. The rest of the book of Genesis traces this story through four generations. In each generation we see human failure paired with God’s commitment to rescue and bless. As the story of Joseph summarizes at the end, “You planned this for evil, but God planned it for good, to save many lives” (Gen 50:20).
As the book of Genesis closes, we see a promise of a king through the line of Judah who will be king over the nations and will restore blessing to the world (Gen 49:8-13). It’s this promise that will find its fulfillment in Israel’s Messiah.
God promises to bless and multiply Abraham’s family to be a blessing. Abraham fails along the way but learns to trust God’s promise.
Isaac and Jacob
Abraham’s son Isaac has twin boys—Jacob and Esau. Jacob steals Esau’s birthright, is later deceived himself, and eventually is renamed “Israel” (one who wrestles with God).
Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons, is hated by his brother and sold into slavery in Egypt. God uses the situation to save Jacob’s family and many others from famine.
At the end of his life, Jacob blesses his sons and foresees a king from Judah’s line who will ultimately fulfill God’s promise to Abraham.