Throughout the delays, the waiting, and the testing, Abraham’s life taught him about the character of God, and Abraham responded with obedience. In this message, Alistair Begg reviews the confirmation and consecration of God’s covenant with Abraham. God’s covenant with us has been revealed through His Son, Jesus Christ. How we respond to that promise reflects the faith we have in His power to bring about all that He says He will.
1When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty;1 walk before me, and be blameless, 2that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3Then 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. 5No longer shall your name be called Abram,2 but your name shall be Abraham,3 for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7And 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. 8And 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.”
9And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
15And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah4 shall be her name. 16I will bless her, and moreover, I will give5 you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac.6 I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”
22When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham. 23Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. 24Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.
Abraham’s journey of faith could be described as a series of new beginnings. Although his walk contained many pitfalls and failures, Abraham learned that with God, failure is never final. Abraham’s trust grew with each new beginning as he responded in obedience to God’s call. Throughout this series from Genesis, Alistair Begg explores faith as expressed through the changes and challenges of life. The measure of our faith grows as our understanding of God’s character grows, and we can walk boldly in light of His promises.
|One Man's Background||Genesis 11:27-32|
|Pitching Tents and Building Altars||Genesis 12:1-9|
|A Failure of Nerve||Genesis 12:10-20|
|Let's Have No Quarreling||Genesis 13:1-8|
|Abram to the Rescue||Genesis 14:1-24|
|How Can I Be Right with God?||Genesis 15:1-6|
|Faith in the Waiting Room||Genesis 16:1-15|
|The Covenant Confirmed||Genesis 17:1-27|
|The Principles and Practice of Intercession||Genesis 18:16-33|
|The Peril of Inconsistency||Genesis 20:1-18|
|Faith Put to the Test, Part One||Genesis 22:1-8|
|Faith Put to the Test, Part Two||Genesis 22:9-19|