Abraham, Sarah, and Ismael!

January 7th Scripture Reading:  Genesis 15-17

Sarai suggested to Abram that he have a child by her maid, Hagar, to fulfill God’s promise of offspring since she was still barren.  A child resulted and trouble ensued!  Hagar felt superior and Sarai was  jealous.  The child, Ishmael, became a source of trouble in the house and was prophesied to be one who would cause trouble (Genesis 16:12).  In fact, we are today experiencing trouble in many areas of our world from Ismael’s offspring!

Genesis 17 recorded another visit by God to Abram and Sarai.  Abram was now 99 years old and Sarai was 90.  God confirmed His promise to them through a covenant.  Covenant partners of that time exchanged names.   God’s covenant name was “YHWH”, Hebrew letters that were pronounced only with a drawn out “h” sound.  God changed Abram to “Abraham” and Sarai to “Sarah”, adding part of His name to theirs.  Abram meant “Exalted Father” while Abraham meant “Father of a multitude”.  Sarai’s new name meant “Princess”.  God took Abraham’s name too! He became know as the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”.  God also gave them a physical sign of the covenant: circumcision.  This mark on the male organ carrying the “seed”, would remind Abraham of God’s promise and mark his offspring.

Abraham is known as the father of faith because he believed God and God credited him with being righteous!  (Genesis 15:6)  We are made right with God exactly the same way!  By faith in Jesus we are credited with righteousness.  We get the Name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit who circumcises our hearts and marks us as belonging to God.  God writes our name in the Book of Life and we have an eternal inheritance in Him!

“Having believed, you were marked in Him (Christ) with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His Glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14

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