And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. Genesis 17:1-2
Again God reminds Abraham of his covenant with him. Notice the blessings didn’t happen right away, in fact it happened after many years. But God keeps his promises, we just need to learn to be patient and faithful. Notice God says to Abraham “Walk before Me”. Walk with God and he will make our paths straight
As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. Genesis 17:3-4
God identifies what the terms on his covenant will be. Abraham will be the “father of many nations” You might say, isn’t Abraham just the father of Israel? Well The Messiah (Jesus Christ ) came through Israel making Abraham the spiritual Father of many nations
Notice also God changes his name to Abraham. Jesus tells us in Revelation we will receive a new name (Revelation 2:17) When we answer our calling to God, he changes us! Just as he changed Saul to Paul or changed Simon to Peter!
This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. Genesis 17:10
God confirms his sign or terms of his covenant, it was circumcision. Fast forward to Jesus he said his blood is the New Covenant. (Luke 22) As Abraham entered into God covenant through circumcision, you can enter in Christs New Covenant by faith in Jesus through the shedding of his blood for your sin on the cross! Amen!
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. Genesis 16:2
As we saw in the last chapter, God reaffirmed his promise to Abraham that he would get his promised Son of Isaac. However as the years went on, him and Sarah again were losing faith. Sarah at the point figured she would never have children and told Abraham to mate with her servant Hagar
This event would have permanent consequences , not only just for Abraham and Sarah, but also the entire world
And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. Genesis 16:4
Even though Sarah was the one who suggested Abraham take Hagar for another wife, when she conceived a child from Abraham it enraged her. And she despised and hated Hagar for this. This is a classic example in the Bible, where polygamy is always a disaster for those involved. Even though there were those in the Old Testament who practiced polygamy , it was never ordained by God. As God said in the beginning marriage was One Man and One Woman (Genesis 2:24)
And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. Genesis 16:5
Muslims are descendants of Ishmael. So as you can see this child conceived out of the covenant of Marriage will cause major issues in the future for Israel. As God prophesied , Ishmael will be a wild man against everyone and hostile towards his brothers (Genesis 16:12)
So due to Abraham and Sarah’s lack of faith in Gods promise, they created a lot of new problems for them and the entire world.
And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:26
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. Genesis 15:1
At this time Abraham has already gone on a long journey through trials. And God reminded Abraham that he is his protection and he will be blessed. But notice Abrahams response in the next verse
And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? Genesis 15:2
Abraham is like “God I hear what you are saying but I still don’t have my promised Son” Abraham is about 100 years old and at this point is almost giving up on ever being a Father. Abraham decided that a servant of his household would become his heir, because Abraham gave up on Gods promise. However look how God responds
And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. Genesis 15:4
God continues to remind Abraham of his promise, that he would have the promised Son from his own flesh and blood. At this point Abraham thinks this is impossible, but we know all things are possible with God
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. Genesis 15:5
Not only will Abraham have his promised Son, but he will be the Father of many nations, he will have descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6
From a human perspective, this all seemed impossible. But Abraham now fully believed God and was credited to him as righteousness. Notice Abraham was righteous because he had true faith in God, not by his works
Even if it seems impossible from your perspective, nothing is impossible with God. If God made a promise he will fulfill it because he can not lie!
And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Genesis 13:8
At this time, Abraham still didn’t have his promised Son Isaac. So Lot, who was Abrahams nephew, was like a son to him. So this separation between the families had to be very difficult and heart breaking for Abraham.
You know we see this a lot today in Christianity. There are so many different denominations and groups today, that Christians have split apart. Because of our theological differences or different practices, Christians wont even associate with one another. This has to be very upsetting to Jesus , who shed his blood for us all
And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. Genesis 14:12
The split did not go well for Lot, as it tells us Sodom was a wicked place (Genesis 13:13) and eventually the city of Sodom was overtaken in a war involving multiple Kingdoms. And Lot was taken captive. If only Lot would have kept his peace and stayed with Abraham this probably would have never happened
Look at all the division in the Church, has any of it been beneficial to the body of Christ? If Christians cant even live in peace with one another, how can we be the light of the world and salt of the earth?
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18
The Bible tells us if at all possible, Live at Peace with everyone. What if Abraham and Lot learned to live in peace with each other? Things would have been different, what if the church learned to live in peace with each other? Could we actually learn from one another? Could we teach one another? Could we serve one another?