Easter Devotional | 2023 - Day 2

Blessed by a Single Seed

By Dr. Jim Wicker

“The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘All the nations will be blessed in you.'” ~ Galatians 3:8

Prophecy: The seed of Abraham will bless all nations. 

What will happen in 2023? Supermarket tabloids are full of salacious predictions from self-appointed prophets. Yet, their accuracy rate is abysmal: about 6%. Their few alleged successes occur only when the prophecies are so general that fulfillments are guaranteed: A scandal will occur in Hollywood! A major earthquake will happen! Wildfires will ravage California! Classified documents will be found in a president’s home!

Thankfully, God’s prophecies are different. They are 100% accurate as well as pinpointed in detail. In Galatians 3, verses 8 and 16, Paul cited an amazing prophecy that: (1) was given far ahead of its fulfillment, (2) focused on the blessings by the Messiah, and (3) illustrates the importance of every word in the Bible.

Promised a Long Time Ago, in a Land Far, Far Away

God gave prophecies to Abraham in Genesis 12-22 over two millennia prior to their fulfillment in Jesus’ ministry. Abraham was born in 2166 BC and entered Canaan at the age of 75 (Genesis 12:4). God made His covenant with Abraham then, and over the next 40 years or so, gave him specific covenant prophecies (12:1-3; 15:1-21; 17:1-22; 22:15-18) which God fulfilled. 

For instance, God promised to make Abraham’s descendants “a great nation” (Genesis 12:2). This was a magnificent prophecy since Abraham and Sarah were childless at the time. Yet, by the time the Exodus was fulfilled some 650 years later, the Jews numbered around 2 million people (“600,000 men on foot,” Exodus 12:37). 

Yet, here is an even more amazing prophecy. God told Abraham that “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). How could Abraham bless everyone? Paul says that in this prophecy God “preached the gospel [“good news”] beforehand to Abraham” (Galatians 3:8). The incredible fulfillment of this prophecy occurred some two millennia later through Abraham’s descendant, Jesus the Messiah. It was remarkable enough that Jesus blessed all Jews with His offer of salvation, but He also blessed all nations by offering salvation to Gentiles as well. 

Isaiah confirmed this prophecy of Jesus blessing all nations. Some 740 years prior to Jesus’ birth, Isaiah prophesied the Messiah’s offer of salvation would be for Gentiles in addition to Jews (Isaiah 9:1-3, 7; 42:6-7; 60:3-5; 61:1-2, 9-11; 62:1-2). This was best summed up when God said, “I will also make You a light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6). Jesus quoted Isaiah’s prophecies early in His ministry in Nazareth (Luke 4:17-19).

The Prophesied Seed

God’s prophecy of Abraham and Sarah producing “a great nation” (Genesis 12:2) was wonderfully fulfilled in the Jewish nation. Their greatest purpose was to be God’s people through whom the Messianic line went and culminated in Jesus. Galatians 3:16 explains God’s promise to Abraham to bless all families in the world was accomplished through Jesus, “the seed.” “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ” (Galatians 3:16). Paul was referring to when God clarified the prophecy of Genesis 12:3 in Genesis 22:18. God said, “And in your seed all the nations in the earth shall be blessed.” Since the word “seed” is singular and not plural in Genesis 22:18, it must refer to one Messiah: the Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:16). God did not promise multiple seeds—just one, and one is all that is needed. Jesus lived a perfect life, made payment for our sins on the cross, rose from the dead as Victory over sin and death, and offered salvation to anyone who will trust in Him for salvation.

The Miracle of Biblical Inspiration

This crucial detail of a singular “seed” versus plural “seeds” in God’s prophecy shows the importance of the plenary-verbal inspiration of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). “Plenary” means God inspired the whole Bible. “Verbal” means He inspired every word in the exact form He wanted it in the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament. The Holy Spirit guided the Bible writers so that every word in its specific form is exactly what He wants. A good English translation, such as the NASB, ESV, CSB, and NKJV tries to translate the exactness of these words. So, we can fully rely on the accuracy of the Bible, the Word of God.

Questions for Thought

  1. What should God’s “Seed Promise” to Abraham inspire you to do? First, read the Bible daily, appreciating the importance of every word in the perfect Word of God.
  2. Study messianic prophecies of Jesus’ death and resurrection, such as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 52-53.

Daily Challenge

Find other people to bless this Easter season by sharing with them Jesus’ greatest blessing: His offer of salvation through faith in Him. 

Author Bio

Dr. Jim Wicker

Dr. Jim Wicker grew up at First Baptist, Dallas. He is a Professor of the New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He was a pastor for 19 years prior to teaching at the seminary, and he did interim pastorates for another six years. He is currently Chairman of the FBC Deacon Fellowship and teaches the Wicker Sunday School class at 9:15 am. He is a member of the Pastor’s Prayer Partners. Jim and Dana have three grown children. Dana is a Professor of Psychology and Counseling and Director of the MA in Christian Counseling program at Dallas Baptist University. She often teaches a class in spiritual disciplines at DU and has spoken several times at the FBC Women’s 2nd Monday Luncheon.