2020 Advent Devotional – Day 6


Genesis 22: 15–18

I will surely bless you and make your descendants
as numerous as the stars in the sky
and as the sand on the seashore (Gen 22:17)

Video: Genesis 22: 15–18


What do we withhold from God? What part of our lives do we leave God out of? Perhaps it is our work which we view as separate from our faith, telling ourselves there’s no place for faith in the cut and thrust of business. Maybe a social or sports activity; surely too prosaic to have a place for God. Or even a group of friends – because they’re not really ‘church people’.

Our reading today reminds us that nothing is to be held back from God. The passage comes at the end of the account where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac, his only and much-wanted son, if that was God’s will. Mercifully, God intervened, and Abraham was provided with a ram to sacrifice instead.

Abraham, however, demonstrated his all-encompassing trust in God’s path and his faith is affirmed with God’s blessing. It is a rich and abundant blessing of infinite generosity. God’s love for Abraham, God’s promise to Abraham, cannot be counted or limited. It is as numerous as the stars in the sky, as plentiful as the sand on the seashore.

Where would you even start to calculate such a blessing? You can’t, because no part of God’s love is being held back from Abraham – or from us. God honours Abraham’s whole-hearted faith and trust with this blessing, and God seeks to do the same for us. We too are blessed by God’s love and God calls us to hold nothing back from him, that this blessing may enrich every part of our lives.

When we embrace this love and hold nothing back from God, we affirm our faith in God’s strength and comfort and peace. We affirm God’s promise to us – that we are beloved children of God, and we are eternally blessed.

Abundant God,
I am overwhelmed by the generosity of your love and of your constant reaching out for me. You comfort me in my pain and inspire me in my joy, seeking to accompany me throughout my days. Reassure me, God, that your love abides with me in all that I do and all that I have; and that your strength sustains me every day. Amen.


Genesis 22: 15–18

The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2021.

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