Genesis 17:1 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.
2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
5 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.
6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
God continued to remind Abram of Who He was. Abram needed to get it. He needed to understand Who God is. The same is true for us today. We need to understand Who God is. The Bible clearly shows us that humbly submitting to God does not rob us of anything worthwhile. In fact it protects us from evil.
Abram was now 99 years old and he needed this reminder. The LORD is the Almighty God. There is nothing that God cannot do. Every promise, no matter how impossible it seems to man, is possible with God. Abram was now far past being able to father a child. Sarai was now far past being able to mother a child. Yet, they were going to have a child.
What did God require of Abram? “Walk before me and be thou perfect.” That is a tall order, but it is not an impossible order. Do I fulfil this order which is not just for Abram, but it is for all of God’s children? No, I do not fulfil this order. Am I excused? No! Adam needed to walk before God and be perfect. Enoch walked with God and He took him. Noah walked with God, but Noah left a stain on his testimony. The fact is that every born again child of God is going to have a stain on his testimony. That is reality. That reality cannot be taught as acceptable. The less stains we can have the better off we are.
Teaching that standard is not popular and not acceptable for most. We tend to want to hold up those who are less than perfect, but yet they are pleasing to the flesh because they fit in with the imperfect masses. God shows us that His standard is right and it needs to be pursued for those who know Him.
In verse 2 God again reminded Abram that he would make a covenant with him and he would multiply him exceedingly. God is saying this to a man that is 99 years old and has no promised child. He has a child now, a son that was not according to God’s will and would not be substituted by God.
In verse 3 Abram fell on his face. Abram was overwhelmed with the presence and promise of God. He did not know how to handle this. He was not fighting against God, but he just was incapable of handling this promise, standing up.
In verse 4 God continued to remind Abram of the blessings of this covenant. It would be with him and he would be the father of many nations. Abram had sons after he had Isaac. He had Ishmael already, but that was a blot.
In verse 5 God further proved His authority over Abram by changing his name to Abraham. Abram means “high father” or “exalted father”. Abraham means “father of a multitude” or “chief of multitude”. Abraham’s name was going to be more reflective of who he was going to be. Every time his name would be spoken now, it would remind those hearing it of the special place that Abraham would have.
Generally a father that has several sons, tries to see those sons grow up and get along. He does not want to see them divide up and become different nations. It is true that during the U.S. civil war brothers and fathers sometimes fought on opposite sides of the conflict. However, generally, families try to be somewhat unified.
We read further on that after Abraham and Sarah had Isaac, and then Sarah died, that Abraham married again and had other sons. When Abraham was coming to the end of his life, he sent his other sons away and protected Isaac for the special blessing that God had for him. Abraham did not despise his other sons. He understood that Isaac had a special place, given to him by God.
In verse 6 God again reminds Abraham that he would be exceeding fruitful and there would be nations and kings coming in his lineage.
In verse 7 God told Abraham that the covenant He was making with him, was not just for him. It was also not something that should ever be forgotten or dismissed. The covenant was an everlasting covenant between Abraham and God and Abraham’s seed after him.
In verse 8 God reminded Abraham that his seed would have the land in which he was presently a stranger. Abraham needed to believe in the “Almighty God”. He needed to walk before Him and be perfect. This was not to become a child of God. This was to prove he was a child of God.
Notice as well that this promise was for an everlasting possession. The nation of Israel has been out of their land at times. The reason for that is because they rejected the true God. However, God kept His Word. He brought the nation back into their land and they are there at this time. They will be there because God is faithful to His promise.
Abraham was told that God was to be their God. God wanted Israel to honour Him because He is honourable. Sadly, Israel as a nation, has often not honoured God. Today the nation of Israel is not honouring God. They are in the land, but they are not enjoying the peace they could have. They have enemies and are under constant pressure to try to keep some semblance of safety. They are a stubborn people. Mr. Netanyahu could turn to God today and be saved through the blood of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. He refuses to do that. The majority of the nation refuses to do that. There are a few Jews that are saved. We can praise the Lord for that. The Bible declares that the day is coming when the nation of Israel will acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah, Saviour and King. They will suffer for a while yet before that happens. It will take a very hard hit for them to finally be broken.
God is merciful and He is longsuffering. He will accomplish His promises. Gentile Christians need to be reminded that God’s will is for us to be obedient to Him as well. We are saved to serve Him. We are saved to glorify Him. We can know His peace and we can live in anticipation of our home in heaven. We are not promised a land here. We are promised a home in heaven. The covenant God made with Abraham in our text is for the Jews. However, the spiritual blessings are for all those who will turn to God in repentance.
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
We need to be reminded of the greatness of our God. We need to submit to His will if we are saved. The lost would be wise to submit to Him as well and be saved. Soon there will be a major change in the world. That change will come due to the Lord Jesus Christ coming in the clouds to call His children out of this world. The next stage will be terrible for the world.
If you are not saved, get saved today! Turn to God in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today. Learn to walk with Him as His child. Get to know His blessings along the way. The end is near. Today is the day of salvation.