God of Promises
Genesis 17: 1-14
I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” (Gen. 17:1)
A promise is defined as a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified. We make promises everyday. Some promises we keep, some promises we do not keep. Some promises take longer to fulfill, but in time they are kept.
God made promises. Promises that we can be certain were kept. When God appeared to Abraham when Abraham was 99 years old, He presented him with an interesting promise. God made a covenant with Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. We are all very familiar with what God promised Abraham at that moment, but we also see that God was not simply giving these great gifts. God’s promise begins with a command, and not one to be taken lightly. God tells Abraham to “walk before me and be blameless.” The first thing, before any promise is made, is the requirement. We hear it often that nothing in this life comes easy, that we must work hard for everything. God requires this and so much more. God is making his covenant with Abraham but requiring Abraham to make a covenant with Him as well.
Circumcision as a sign of the covenant: This promise was contingent on Abraham’s obedience; but not just that of Abraham, but his descendents after him and generations to come. He furthered this requirement by having Abraham and all the males in his family circumcised. Circumcision thus serves as a sign of faithfulness to the covenant from human side (different from rainbow in Gen 9 which is a sign for God.) Neglecting circumcision does not constitute the essence of breaking the covenant; such neglect signifies unfaithfulness a mark of an already broken relationship. Those who are unfaithful can remove themselves from the sphere of the covenant; the promise of God, however, will always remain in place for the faithful to cling to.
Today you can be certain that God’s promise remains the same. He will bless you abundantly, you and those you love. Remember, however that God’s promise comes with His requirement. He is God Almighty, as He told Abraham on that day. He requires that we walk before Him and be blameless. This is a tall order that God places before us, but not an impossible one. To the one who promises us the world, why can we not give Him our world?
Prayer. Thank you Jesus for all your promises. Help us to follow your will and enjoy your promises. Amen
Swithin Titus, St John’s MTC, NY