Saturday, March 9, 2013

Genesis 17

Today's reading in our daily plan is Genesis 17. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • In this chapter we read about how God restores Abram’s faith. God meets with Abram face-to-face to restore Abram's confidence in his promise to give Abram children.
  • Then God gives Abram a rather harsh command. God tells Abram he wants Abram to circumcise himself and all males in his household as a sign of their covenant with God. Talk about scary! 
  • God  renames Abram (meaning "father") to Abraham ("father of nations"). This must have been very hard for Abraham to hear. God promised him a son -- and now he’s 99 years old and God promises that he still will give him a son. To top it off, God renames him “Father of nations.” 
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • You might be thinking “What in the world?!?” Me too. The reason for this command by God was to set Abram “apart” from others so that there would be some physical reminder of his relationship with God. This would be a moment he would never forget. This must have been a hard thing to commit to, especially being almost 100 years old. And imagine what all the other males in Abram’s household must have been thinking. But Abram trusts God and goes through with it all.
  • In their culture, the meaning of names was a really big deal, so as a childless 99-year-old Abraham surely faced a lot of shame and embarrassment for having his named changed to something that meant "Father of nations."
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Have you ever had a difficult time trusting God? It probably couldn’t be nearly as hard as what Abraham was having to trust God for. It’s easy to doubt God when we can’t see him or audibly hear him. But let's learn from Abraham’s faith. Walking with God isn’t a passive thing. We have to actively have faith in God’s promises and love for us. Ask God to help you trust him more. What step of trust can you make in your relationship with God today?