Monday, August 26, 2019

2019.08.26 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 17:9-14

Questions for Littles: Who speaks to whom in Genesis 17:9? What does God tell Abraham to keep? Whom else does God say must keep His covenant? What obligation does God call “My covenant” in Genesis 17:10? Who must be circumcised? Who else gets included in the command in Genesis 17:12? When must a child be circumcised (Genesis 17:12)? What two groups are specified in verse 12, then reaffirmed in Genesis 17:13, as being required to have the sign applied to them? How long does the covenant with Abraham last? What if someone does not receive the sign—what shall happen to him (Genesis 17:14)? Why?
It might slip our notice, as we look at the rest of this passage, that Abraham spends the entire passage on his face. We would do well to come with the same posture of heart toward God, as He says MY covenant, MY covenant, MY covenant.

God is the One who initiates this covenant. Abraham does not have a choice in the matter. He did not make a decision or a commitment to bring himself into this binding relationship. Of course, he must decide and commit, but these were not optional for him.

God is the One who makes all of the promises. Promise to forgive. Promise to make holy. Promise to defeat death. Promise to give land. Promise of everlasting relationship. Yes, there are demands of Abraham, explicit and implicit. Faith. Obedience. Service. Worship. Even the application of the sign itself—which implies his obligation to yield to all of these things. But this is God’s covenant, and it has at its core God’s promises.

God is the One who will sustain both sides of the covenant. We saw this with the smoking pot and flaming torch in chapter 15. We heard it earlier in this chapter with the glorious statement that God Almighty would exercise that power in sustaining Abraham’s walk. In between, in chapter 16, all we had was Abraham’s failure.

Ultimately, this is a picture of Christ Himself. It is in Christ that God keeps all of these promises in your life and mine! The sign has changed but the substance is the same.
When were you baptized? How often do you reflect upon it and look to Christ?
Suggested Songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH265 “In Christ Alone”

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