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Genesis 17:1-5 - The Great I WILL God’s Covenant Promise Restated - Part 2
Read part one here.
Last week we started on Genesis chapter 17 and left off with the name change the Lord have to Abram in vs. 5. I want you to notice something else here in verse 5, and want you to highlight or underline it. Notice here, along with the name change, that God is laying this out in the PAST TENSE: “I have made you a father of many nations.” The idea in the Hebrew is “Have I made you already.” In other words, In God’s perspective this was a done deal even though Abraham had not yet had a child with his wife. Because God has spoken it, because God has declared it to be so, in the mind of God, who is outside of time, this is done! And this should bring us tremendous comfort concerning all the promises of God.
So, this is what God is trying to get through to Abraham who had taken matters into his own hands. “I am the one making the promises Abraham, I am the promise maker, YOU are the promise taker.”
This is why both Jesus and James say: “hey, don’t swear on an oath man, don’t be making promises, just let your yes be yes and your no be no.”
Here’s a good word for you today: just leave the promise making business to the Lord. He is the promise maker and we are the promise takers. Our response to the wonderful and eternal promises of God is the desire to just please the promise maker by placing ourselves under His Lordship. And as we do just that, then we will make the awesome discovery that we will fully come into all that He has created and designed us to be, and we will experience that ever increasing joy and meaning and depth and purpose to our lives. Glory to glory!
The Lord then revealed more of the details concerning His plan to redeem the world through the nation of Israel. His predictions took the form of several unconditional promises. 5 times, the Lord affirmed, “I will” in verse 5-8.
“No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I WILL make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I WILL establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I WILL give as an everlasting possession to you and you're descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
- I will make you exceedingly fruitful.
- I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you.
- I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring.
- I will give to you and your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan.
- I will be their God.
For those of you who have compulsive disorder, like me, you would have noticed since verse 2, that God has used this phrase “I will” 7 times. And some of us know that 7 in the Scriptures speaks to “Completion.” God is saying very emphatically here that He will completely perform this promise!
Basically God has said this: “These are things things you can bank on. I WILL do them. They are My responsibility. Oh, and Abraham, remember that EL-SHADDAI is speaking to you! I will see to it that these things take place. NEVER doubt it, even when you're not hearing from me or when you get into a stagnation in life. I WILL never forget what I promised.”
We saw in chapter 16 that Abram swerved off the beaten path. And the reason they swerved off the path is because they stopped allowing God to be God, and they thought they were going to help God out.
And here God is reminding them “This is going to be a work that I’m going to do. I am going to accomplish it!”
Join us next week as we get into more detail about “covenants. Blessings to you all.