Deus fez promessas físicas e espirituais a Abraão. As promessas físicas envolveram grandezas físicas para seus descendentes: “E far-te-ei uma grande nação, e abençoar-te-ei e engrandecerei o teu nome” (Genesis 12:1-2 Genesis 12:1-2 1 Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you:
2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing:
American King James Version×). Estas promessas físicas e nacionais incluíram garantias de território e outras bênçãos (Genesis 12:7 Genesis 12:7And the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, To your seed will I give this land: and there built he an altar to the LORD, who appeared to him.
American King James Version×; 13:14-17; 15:18).
Estas promessas físicas foram formalmente transferidas para os descendentes de Abraão. Primeiro, passaram para Isaque (Genesis 26:1-4 Genesis 26:1-4 1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines to Gerar.
2 And the LORD appeared to him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell you of:
3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for to you, and to your seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father;
4 And I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give to your seed all these countries; and in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
American King James Version×). Depois para Jacó (Genesis 28:3-4 Genesis 28:3-4 3 And God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, that you may be a multitude of people; 4 And give you the blessing of Abraham, to you, and to your seed with you; that you may inherit the land wherein you are a stranger, which God gave to Abraham.
American King James Version×, 13-14), a quem Deus chamou Israel, dizendo-lhe que “uma nação e multidão de nações” sairiam dele (Genesis 35:9-12 Genesis 35:9-12 9 And God appeared to Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. 10 And God said to him, Your name is Jacob: your name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be your name: and he called his name Israel. 11 And God said to him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of you, and kings shall come out of your loins; 12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to you I will give it, and to your seed after you will I give the land.
American King James Version×). Em seguida, estas promessas físicas foram passadas a José e finalmente para os dois filhos de José, Efraim e Manassés, que se tornariam, respectivamente, “uma multidão de nações” e “um grande povo” (Genesis 48:15-19 Genesis 48:15-19 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long to this day, 16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the middle of the earth. 17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head. 19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.
American King James Version×). Mas, por causa da escravidão de Israel e subsequente desobediência, o cumprimento destas promessas físicas foi adiado.
Antes que qualquer um dos primeiros descendentes de Abraão herdasse a promessa da terra, eles tornaram-se escravos no Egipto (Exodus 1:7-11 Exodus 1:7-11 7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
9 And he said to his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:
10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falls out any war, they join also to our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.
11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
American King James Version×). A nação de Israel gemeu por causa do seu estado de escravidão e Deus ouviu-os. Em sua fidelidade, Deus determinou libertar Israel da sua escravidão cumprindo as promessas, que fez a Abraão, Isaac e Jacó, de que os seus descendentes, os descendentes de Abraão seriam fisicamente abençoados e que se tornariam num grande povo na terra (Exodus 2:23-25 Exodus 2:23-25 23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up to God by reason of the bondage. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked on the children of Israel, and God had respect to them.
American King James Version×; 6:7-8; 13:5; Deuteronómio 9:4-6).
Em seguida encontramos promessas de bênçãos físicas sendo oferecidas a Israel após a saída do Egito. Somente se os Israelitas obedecessem a Deus e se permanessessem fieis à Sua aliança com eles, é que eles poderiam receber tais promessas. Se eles não obedecessem aos termos da aliança, as bênçãos seriam adiadas e pragas viriam em seu lugar (Exodus 19:5-6 Exodus 19:5-6 5 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.
American King James Version×; Leviticus 26:3-39 Leviticus 26:3-39 3 If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 And your threshing shall reach to the vintage, and the vintage shall reach to the sowing time: and you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. 6 And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 For I will have respect to you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. 10 And you shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. 11 And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people. 13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright. 14 But if you will not listen to me, and will not do all these commandments; 15 And if you shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that you will not do all my commandments, but that you break my covenant: 16 I also will do this to you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 And I will set my face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and you shall flee when none pursues you. 18 And if you will not yet for all this listen to me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. 21 And if you walk contrary to me, and will not listen to me; I will bring seven times more plagues on you according to your sins. 22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate. 23 And if you will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary to me; 24 Then will I also walk contrary to you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. 25 And I will bring a sword on you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when you are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. 26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and you shall eat, and not be satisfied. 27 And if you will not for all this listen to me, but walk contrary to me; 28 Then I will walk contrary to you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. 29 And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall you eat. 30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. 31 And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the smell of your sweet odors. 32 And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. 33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. 34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lies desolate, and you be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. 35 As long as it lies desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when you dwelled on it. 36 And on them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursues. 37 And they shall fall one on another, as it were before a sword, when none pursues: and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 And you shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. 39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
American King James Version×; Deuteronómio 28:1-68).
Por causa dos pecados flagrantes de Israel e Judá—a nação de Israel tinha sido dividida em dois reinos—as bênçãos nacionais continuaram a ser adiadas. Houve apenas breves períodos de grandeza quando alguns reis justos reinaram. Mas, por causa da fidelidade de Deus, Ele acabaria por abençoar os descendentes de Abraão com a grandeza que Ele predisse.
Parte da punição pelos pecados de Israel foi enviá-los ao exílio nacional. Muitos judeus do Reino do Sul (Judá), apesar de terem sido deportados para a Babilônia, depois voltaram para a terra da Judéia. No entanto, os israelitas do Reino do Norte (Israel), que foram deportados para a Assíria não voltaram a se restabelecer na sua antiga pátria. Eles se tornaram o que são hoje conhecidas como as “Dez Tribos Perdidas de Israel”. Ao longo do tempo, essas pessoas migraram para o noroeste da Europa.
Os descendentes de Efraim e Manassés, receberam a bênção de ascensão à grandeza nacional. Efraim tornou-se a prometida ‘multidão de nações’ (Grã-Bretanha e os povos da comunidade de ascendência britânica, como Canadá, Austrália e Nova Zelândia), e Manassés tornou-se a grande ‘nação’ (os Estados Unidos da América). É através destes povos que a maioria das profecias Bíblicas a respeito de Israel estão sendo cumpridas (Genesis 48:16 Genesis 48:16The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the middle of the earth.
American King James Version×; 49:22-26).
Devemos anotar que, as outras tribos de Israel [Reino do Norte] também estão representadas em outras nações do noroesta da Europa, ou emergentes dessa região. E, além desses israelitas, o povo judeu de hoje é descendente do povo do antigo Reino de Judá [Reino do Sul]—o que significa que enquanto os judeus são israelitas, nem todos os israelitas são judeus.
Deus tinha a intenção de que Israel [que inclui ambos os Reinos do Norte e do Sul] viesse a ser um país modelo em obediência a Ele, para os outros povos verem e desejarem imitar (Deuteronomy 4:5-8 Deuteronomy 4:5-8 5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do so in the land where you go to possess it.
6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
7 For what nation is there so great, who has God so near to them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call on him for?
8 And what nation is there so great, that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
American King James Version×). Ele deu ao povo Suas leis e aliança, mas eles não tiveram um coração correto para continuar em obediência (Deuteronomy 5:29 Deuteronomy 5:29O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
American King James Version×), e, por isso, eles falharam em seu exemplo, levando à punição nacional.
Severo juízo virá ainda mais uma vez no “tempo de angústia para Jacó” (Jeremiah 30:7 Jeremiah 30:7Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
American King James Version×), quando, pouco antes da volta de Cristo, muitas profecias do fim dos tempos com respeito aos descendentes modernos de Israel serão cumpridas. (Veja o capítulo intitulado “O Retorno de Jesus Cristo e o Vindouro Reinado”, começando na página 69.) Uma das maiores lições de Israel é que, um povo a quem foi dado tanto, não terá um sucesso completo, a não ser que receba o que é essencialmente necessário—os meios para uma verdadeira transformação espiritual de caráter.
Também contido nas promessas a Abraão estava a promessa espiritual ainda mais importante, a promessa da salvação a todos os homens que se tornassem da “Semente” de Abraão (seus descendentes). Através de Abraão todas as famílias da terra teriam acesso às bênçãos de Deus (Genesis 12:3 Genesis 12:3And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.
American King James Version×). Deus confirmou as promessas feitas a Abraão porque ele obedeceu os mandamentos de Deus (Genesis 22:18 Genesis 22:18And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.
American King James Version×; 26:5).
O apóstolo Paulo entendeu que a salvação não era apenas para os judeus ou israelitas, mas para toda a humanidade. Ele explicou que a “Semente” para quem as promessas aplicavam era Jesus Cristo, e que todos devem tornar-se um em Ele (Galatians 3:8 Galatians 3:8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel to Abraham, saying, In you shall all nations be blessed.
American King James Version×, 14-16, 26-29).
O sacerdote Zacarias, no nascimento de seu filho João Batista, profetizou que Deus se lembraria do juramento que tinha feito a Abraão (Luke 1:69-72 Luke 1:69-72 69 And has raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
American King James Version×). Paulo registra que Jesus Cristo veio para confirmar as promessas feitas aos pais (Romans 15:8 Romans 15:8Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers:
American King James Version×). A promessa de salvação vem de Deus através do Espírito Santo como uma parte da Nova Aliança disponível para nós através da morte e ressurreição de Cristo.
O Espírito Santo é a chave para as “melhores promessas” que vêm ao abrigo da “nova” e “melhor” aliança [ou concerto] que foi estabelecida nessas melhores promessas (Hebrews 8:6 Hebrews 8:6But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
American King James Version×). O Espírito Santo faria obediência possível, para que Israel e todos os outros que se juntassem a Israel através do Espírito seriam capazes de ter sucesso em ser a nação modelo que Deus intencionou.
Foi dito aos apóstolos para esperarem em Jerusalém por esta promessa melhor (Actos 1:4, 8). Eles esperaram para serem selados pelo Espírito Santo “da promessa,” o qual era a garantia da herança deles (Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 1:13-14 13 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.
American King James Version×). É pelo Espírito de Deus que sabemos que somos filhos de Deus e em Cristo (Romans 8:9 Romans 8:9But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
American King James Version×, 14-17) e assim somos a semente de Abraão (espiritualmente) e herdeiros da salvação de acordo com a promessa (Galatians 3:28 Galatians 3:28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×).
Esta promessa não é baseada em raça, mas na chamada de Deus e no arrependimento individual, independentemente da raça ou origem nacional. Por este meio, por meio da fé, tudo pode ser renomeado “o Israel de Deus” (Galatians 6:16 Galatians 6:16And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and on the Israel of God.
American King James Version×). (Veja o capítulo intitulado “A Igreja,” começando na página 56.)
Quando Jesus Cristo estabelecer Sua Nova Aliança com Israel e Judá em Seu retorno (Jeremiah 31:31 Jeremiah 31:31Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
American King James Version×)—a Aliança na qual a Igreja de Deus agora é um precursor—então a nação física de Israel será finalmente capaz de servir como a nação modelo que Deus intencionou que fosse (Zechariah 8:23 Zechariah 8:23Thus said the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
American King James Version×; Jeremiah 31:1 Jeremiah 31:1At the same time, said the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
American King James Version×, Romans 11:12 Romans 11:12Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?
American King James Version×)—tendo sido transformada para Israel espiritual e liderando o mundo inteiro para a mesma relação salvadora com Deus.