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Genesis 17:9-27 - Obedience - Part 1
In Chapter 16-17:5 - Sari gave her servant Hagar to Abram for marriage and she conceived. After she conceived she had contempt for Sari. Sari dealt harshly with her and Hagar fled. An angel of the Lord met with her and told her to go back and submit to Sari and promised to multiply her offspring and told her to call him Ishmael but that there would be problems. Abram was 86 years old when Ishmael was born.
When Abram was 99 the LORD appeared to him again and reiterated the covenant God made with him, and afterward God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. So, after God restated His Unconditional Covenant with Abraham, and get’s through with all the “I Will’s” he turns his attention to Abraham., and we pick it up in verse 9.
“Then God said to Abraham, ‘As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner, those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.’ God also said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.’”
Starting in Vs. 9, He says: “As for you.” When God says, “As for you,” understand this is NOT a “Conditional Covenant,” which we made clear in the last message from the preceding verses. If Abraham does not do his part here, that does NOT make the promises of God null and void. God will still perform His covenant. And thank God that the promises of God, going forward, are NOT based on my faithfulness!
Paul tells Timothy, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown (Deny) Himself.”(2 Tim. 2:13)
If the moving forward of the promises of God were contingent upon you and I, MAN we’d be in alot of trouble!!
What is being put forth here, in this “as for you” business, is the Biblical president that the unconditional promises of God set up the “expectation” on the part of those receiving the promises to respond in obedience. It’s what’s expected, in gratitude, to the promises. God is essentially saying to Abraham - “Now I’ve made these unconditional promises to you, this is how I’m relating to you. Now, if you want to relate to me, this is how it’s done.”
And He says to you and I - “I have saved you, I have given you salvation, you have eternal life with Me. I am NOT going to take that away, but if you want to relate to Me, if you want to come into the Very Best of what I have for you in this life and the next, then you will simply obey Me, learn of me, and grow in me.” Obedience is simply the natural response to love!
John 14:15 - “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”
I do things for my wife, not because she’s going to whack me on the head with a frying pan if I don’t, but because I love her. My natural response is to simply desire to please her. Same with God.
So, you have to wonder if a person has no desire to please God, if they really ever tasted of their salvation. If they really understand what God has done for them, or they’re even saved.
Join us next week as we continue with the text and talk about circumcision. Blessings to you all.