Saturday, September 16, 2023

Genesis Chapter 17


This chapter continues the story of Abram and Sarai. It takes place when Abram was 99 years old, approximately 1897 BC. Abram and Sarai have been waiting 24 years for God’s promise. Abram’s story is the Old Testament example of the New Testament believer.

Verses 1-14

God reaffirms his promise to him and promised Abram he would be the father of a multitude of nations and changed his name to Abraham which means “father of many.” God changed his name so he would speak the promise. Abraham began calling himself father before he was. He’s hearing God’s promise and he’s speaking God’s promise. 

Vs 5 for a father of many nations have I made thee. So God had already done His part, now Abraham needed to do his part. (Gods promises are already ours but we speak our circumstances like Abram instead of speaking God’s promises).

God establishes a covenant which is an everlasting Covenant with the Jewish people (according to verse 7)

He would give Abraham’s descendants the land of Canaan (which we know to be the land of Israel) and they were to worship Him as the one true God. This Covenant of the land of Israel (Canaan at that time) is also everlasting.

As a sign of this covenant, Abraham was to circumcise every male who lived in the house. Infants born were to be circumcised when they were 8 days old.

(Seems harsh but definitely a sign that is a constant reminder of the covenant)

Verses 15-21

God changes Sarais name to Sarah because she was going to give birth to a son.

She would be the mother of nations and kings of peoples shall be of her. 

Abraham laughed and expressed his doubts that a nearly 100 year old man and 90 year old woman could conceive a child.

(He even asked God if His promises could be fulfilled through his son Ishmael and God said no)

God blessed Ishmael but the son of Abraham and Sarah would be where God’s everlasting covenant would be established.

Verses 22-27

Abraham does what God said and circumcised all the males and himself. (It continues to be a Jewish tradition to this day).

This story shows us that God uses the least likely people to achieve great things. Abraham and Sarah couldn’t conceive children on their own but God used them to birth a nation of people who were part of His redemption story in the New Testament.

(This pattern is repeated throughout many people in the Bible as we will learn in the chapters and books ahead).

If you accomplish great things for God it will be the result of God’s power working through you and not you. (That should take the pressure off what we can accomplish on our own).

God’s Word works but not every believer is applying what they are learning in the Word or doing what the Word teaches or believing what the Word says.

As Abraham spoke the promise (every time he said his name he was saying I am the father of many before it happened) his faith grew and he thanked God in advance for the answer.

Romans 4:16-25 Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able to perform.

Romans 10:17 Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

God’s Word works but not every believer is applying what they are learning in the Word or doing what the Word teaches or believing what the Word says.