Abraham Part 6


A study

Part 6

For I, Jehovah, change not; therefore ye, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.(Malachi 3: 6)

Now in this part of the study let us look into Gen.15, 16 & 17. Here we find two great appearances of God to Abraham, (1) renewing His Promises in Gen.15 and (2) reassuring His Relationship in Gen17. These two appearances are interposed by another period of Abraham’s lapse into unbelief, which gave birth to Ishmael.

Gen.15 “After these things,” i.e. after Abraham’s act of generous charity, without receiving any reward in Gen.14, God appears to Abraham and renews His three-fold promise.

  1. God’s promise about HIMSELF – Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (v.1,2)
  2. God’s promise about a SEED – When Abraham started doubting the promise of God and started thinking that he should be content with having Eliezer, the steward of his house, as his heir, God brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” (v.5)
  3. God’s promise about the LAND – God revealed to Abraham that though his seed will be afflicted for 400 years in slavery, God will bring them into this land and give it to them. Here God specified clearly the borders of the Promised Land. (v.18-21)

Gen.16 – Here we see the lapse in the faith of Abraham. Instead of waiting for God’s time Abraham heeded Sarah’s advice which resulted in the birth of Ishmael. And Ishmael in turn gave birth to the Arabs who became the perennial enemies of Israel. Instead of patiently waiting for God’s time, if we use fleshly wisdom to hasten even those things, which we may genuinely feel important and urgent, we will be put out of God’s way and God’s blessings. This can be prevented if we would wait, asking counsel of God through His word and prayer, before we attempt that which appears to be right and urgent.

Gen.17 – About 14years after this failure, God in His mercy appears to reassure His relationship with Abraham. Here God made a covenant with Abraham. This covenant came into full force with the nation of Israel, which was formed out of the family of Jacob the grand son of Abraham. (Isa.43: 1) We see this covenant being made between God and Israel in Mount Sinai, after their deliverance from their bondage in Egypt. (Exo.24: 8)

But during this appearance to Abraham in Gen.17,

  1. God revealed Himself to Abraham as the “Almighty God,” the El Shaddai, which means that He, is the All-sufficient God.
  2. God gave him a new name, Abraham – father of many nations. Till this time his name was Abram – exalted father.
  3. God renewed His promises about the SEED and the LAND and gave a sign to confirm it. It was the sign of CIRCUMCISION.

    CIRCUMCISION points to the putting away of the old man with his works of the flesh. Rom. 2:28,29 – For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Col.2: 11 – In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.

  4. God gave a new name to Sarah – princess of multitudes. Till this time her name was Sarai – my princess. And God promised to give a son, Isaac through her.
  5. God promised to bless Ishmael also with certain blessing for Abraham’s sake.

[To Part 5] Lessons on Abraham [To Part 7]