I recently began a class on missions called Perspectives. The first thing we studied was Genesis 12:2-3 where God promises Abraham to make him into a great nation. He not only promised to bless him and his family, he promised to bless all peoples of the earth through him and his descendants. This has been lived out through history and in the present in all kinds of ways, and will eventually lead to all nations worshiping Christ. Being the seed of Abraham, we also are called to bless all peoples through the love of Christ. There are many examples of this throughout the scriptures, but one that stands out to me is Abraham’s great grandson, Joseph.
Joseph was thrown out of the family, sold into slavery, imprisoned, and had every reason to throw his hands up and give up on life. But, he stayed true to his faith in God Almighty, and God lifted him up to be second in command of the great nation of Egypt. In Genesis chapter 41, Joseph dreams of a great famine and he prepares Egypt for it. Eventually the dream is fulfilled and many nations come to Egypt to buy food because they have none in their own countries. Here we see Joseph fulfilling, in part, God’s promise to bless all nations through Abraham’s descendants.
This is only one small example of other nations being blessed through God’s promise to Abraham. Today, as many mobilize to bless Haiti, I am reminded of this promise. America is not perfect, has many flaws, and not everyone in America is a Christian. However, because historically America has been a Christian nation, no one can deny that the hand of God has been present over our country. This is the land where freedom abounds, people choose how to use their gifts and talents, and God has used them to build a prosperous country. Many would argue that it is unfair to say that America is more blessed than other countries. In response, I would point to the promise in Genesis.
We have been blessed to bless the whole world. As I look at all the organizations that are collecting money and supplies for Haiti, as I compare governments, and as I see our health care and rescue workers giving up their time and leaving families, no one compares to America. I am proud of our country. I see regular American families dipping into their pockets to find a way to help. I have personally received several emails asking about ways to give and suggestions in reply.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, as of January 19th, approximately 275 million dollars has been donated to U.S. non profit groups for Haiti relief. That number includes regular people who have texted in donations and given online. It also includes American corporations, but does not include our own government’s giving. For a complete listing of everyone who has given to the Haitian relief effort, you can go to http://ocha.unog.ch/fts/reports/daily/ocha_R10_E15797_asof___1001201921.pdf.
As more relief efforts continue, the giving will too. America is truly rising to this intense call to bless those who can not help themselves. I pray that America will continue to be blessed to be a blessing. I pray God will heal the Haitians’ hearts and their land, and will restore them to a more solid foundation, that of Christ.