God Keeps His Covenant, Genesis 16-18. Though we are not personally visited by the Lord, God has given us His Word to reveal Himself to us and to teach how to live faithfully before Him. It is through this Bible that we are told the only way of salvation from sin and are told how to have a personal relationship with Christ.
17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine
years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God
Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my
covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3 Then Abram
fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 “Behold, my covenant is with
you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer
shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I
have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you
exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall
come from you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and
your offspring after you throughout their generations for an
everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8
And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your
sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
Genesis 17:1-8, ESV
9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
Genesis 18:9-15, ESV
God Keeps His Covenant: Abram and Sarai Receive New Names
In Genesis 16-18 we get a peek into the daily lives of Abram and Sarai. As God continues to reaffirm his covenant with Abram, Sarai decides to take matters into her own hands. God renews his covenant and commands all males to be circumcised, and then changes Abram's name to Abraham and Sarai's name to Sarah. The Lord then comes to Abraham to state that even though Sarah and Abraham are old, God will still give them a son. As the Lord leaves he speaks with Abraham about his plans for Sodom, and Abraham intercedes on behalf of the city.
Abraham, perhaps the greatest patriarch, is still a man plagued by the weaknesses of sin. When Sarah comes to him with a plan to give her handmaid to Abraham so that he may have a child through him, he agrees. We, too, are often too quick to do the same thing. How often do we develop our own plans for doing God's will without even asking Him? God did give Abraham a son through Hagar, whom Abraham named Ishmael, and promised to make a great nation through him.
God Keeps His Covenant: Abraham Visited by Three Men
Abraham is then visited by three men, one who is the Lord, who tell him that even though he and Sarah are old, God is still going to give them a son. Sarah laughed at such a ridiculous notion because she was almost 90--far past the age of child bearing. The Lord, who as God knows all things, stated, “
Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
That, too, sounds just like us, does it not? We are such a part of this world that we tend to put God in a box. Yet, nothing is too hard for God. He rules and works His will among us, fulfilling every promise and prophecy that He has proclaimed in the Bible.
God Keeps His Covenant: Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
As the men begin to leave, the Lord stops and speaks with Abraham, explaining his plans to destroy Sodom because of the great sin of the people. Abraham bravely intercedes for Sodom because this is the city where Lot resides. God promises that even if there are 10 righteous people in the city, he will not destroy Sodom. Surely there are 10 righteous people in such a large city--at least, that is what Abraham thought.
Though we are not personally visited by the Lord, God has given us His Word to reveal Himself to us and to teach how to live faithfully before Him. It is through this Bible that we are told the only way of salvation from sin and are told how to have a personal relationship with Christ.
Pray that you will be found to be faithful, studying the Bible and being active in prayer to this God who chooses to have a relationship with His people through the Lord Jesus Christ. How amazing is that? God lives and moves among His children leading, guiding, and protecting them until that day when He will take them home to be with Him forever.
As we think of this Scripture which teaches that God Keeps His Covenant, let us praise God who faithfully saves and keeps a people for Himself!
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