“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).
The first covenant of salvation—to Adam and Eve—in Genesis 3:15 (the woman’s seed would bruise the head of the serpent which tempted her) sounds like God may have intended for such salvation to be universally effective for all mankind. Again in the Noahic Covenant, God made a promise of survival, an “everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth” (Genesis 9:16).
But as we see God’s plan begin to unfold, we may be tempted to doubt that God wanted every member of the human race to experience His salvation, for in Genesis 12 God focuses His program on only one man—Abram—whom He calls and promises to bless. From Abram the nation of Israel came, and they became the people of God and experienced God’s special guidance and blessing. Of particular importance is that God chose to reveal His eternal written word through them.
But let’s look again at God’s call to Abram. In Genesis 12:2 God not only says “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee,” but He also promises that “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (v.3). God is sharing His wider perspective and exposing His great heart of love for all by declaring Israel to be a whole race of priests on behalf of the rest of the nations (Exodus 19) and a light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6).
Eventually the ultimate love of God was realized. “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman” (Galatians 4:4), “that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). KLB