Genesis Chapter 17
"The Covenant Repeated, and Sarah's Blessing."
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
Genesis 17:1 "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, "I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect."
We are repeating the covenant here that God had made with Abram years prior, as we read in Genesis fifteen.
Genesis 17:2 "And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly."
Genesis 17:3 "And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,"
Did you get that? God said "My covenant between Me and thee." Hagar, or her child is not part of this agreement. Although we saw in Genesis 16:10 that God made a separate promise to Hagar concerning the child that she would have.
Genesis 17:4 "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations."
"Abraham" means "the father of multitude". God added the letter "H" to Abram's name, and put it in the middle of his name. The vowels do not exist in the Hebrew alphabet, and are added in the English. The letter H is the fifth letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and the number five  is grace.
It shall be through this seed of Abraham that grace shall come, through Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace, and through Him all forgiveness of sins are made possible upon repentance.
Genesis 17:5 "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee."
Genesis 17:6 "And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee."
This promise is continued even to our generation today, for the lineage of the British throne, Queen Elizabeth II, goes back through King David, and to Abraham. So also do the other thrones of European royalty, as does those of Arab royalty. Abraham is the Father of many kings and many nations. Besides the Israelite and Jewish peoples, he was the father of the Ishmaelites, Midianites, and the Arabs. God made a promise to Abraham, and that promise extends to you and I today.
Genesis 17:7 "And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee."
This is not the "seed" quoted in Galatians 3:16 [Jesus Christ]; for this seed is plural, because of the word "generations". We are included in this seed today.
Through Jesus Christ all men [women] come into that family. There is no end to this promised covenant, nor are there any conditions attached to it. It is a legal document; that upon repentance of our sins in Jesus name, we have an legal right before Almighty God to be an "heir" to the inheritance of God's kingdom. These things are ours by simply claiming them, on the authority of God the Father, Himself; in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Genesis 17:8 "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
This covenant promise is passed up from Abraham to Isaac, and continues through Jacob, and Joseph's two sons, as recorded in Genesis 49:25-26.
Genesis 49:22-26 "Joseph is a fruitful bough by a well: whose branches run over the wall:  The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:  But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel:)  Even by the God of thy father, Who shall help thee; and by the ALMIGHTY, Who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:  The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren."
Friend, the blessings of Abraham are passed on to Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh [Genesis 48:13-20], and most of the Church world of today, calling themselves Christians, refuse to accept that. They are ignorant of this promise in the Bible, and would rather believe the traditions of the Kenite lie, that these Kenites, that call themselves Jews, carry the covenant promises that God gave to Abraham.
Ultimately, when the promise comes to it's fullness, Christ will be here on earth in the Millennium kingdom, and with us.
Genesis 17:9 "And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep My covenant therefore, thou and thy seed after thee in their generations."
Do you keep the covenant, and claim the promises? If you do not, God is saying you will become as a stranger, alienated from the family of God, and you will have no part in the inheritance. You must give the importance to this covenant, and claim it, as you would a will or deed, before the Heavenly Father. We keep that covenant by showing our love for the Heavenly Father, and telling Him that we do, and studying His word to know more about Him, and what He expects of us. Part of keeping the covenant is thanking the Lord for what He has given you, and the many ways that He has given us His protection.
God could count on Abraham to keep his word, for Abraham trusted God and believed God. Can God count on you when the going gets tough?
Genesis 17:10 "This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised."
This was the blood that sealed the covenant. When Jesus Christ went to the cross to shed His blood, this ended the need for the old method of circumcision for the binding of the covenant. This is because Christ became the sacrifice for us, His blood was shed for one and all times. The circumcision then became of the heart and mind, which is to say that; to believe on Him and to accept and claim the promises as your own, then you become part of that inheritance.
Genesis 17:11 "And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you."
That token today is the warmth in your heart and mind of assurance, as we feel the presence of the Holy Spirit within our soul and spirit. We are in Him, and He is within us, and we are as one with the Holy Spirit. This is the token to us today.
Genesis 17:12 "And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with thy money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed."
In Biblical numerics, eight stands for "new beginnings", this is a new beginning for each of us, when we become circumcised in our hear and mind. That means to cut and sever all the parts of Satan and the filthiness of his world system. When we do this we take on the "new covenant", which is to say, "accept Jesus". This is being "born again", or to be more accurate; "being born from above" [of God]
Notice that in the old covenant, even those of a different race, or a stranger could become part of Abraham's covenant by their circumcision. Under the new Covenant, it is also the same; that by the circumcision of the heart [repentance], and the acceptance of Christ into their heart, the new covenant and inheritance is offered to all people, including the Kenite. For he will no longer be a Kenite, a child of Satan, but a son of the Living God.
Colossians 2:11, 12; "In Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ:  Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God Who hath raised Him from the dead."
When you take that by faith, and believe that God the Father has raised Jesus Christ from the dead, we are to be baptized in Christ; that is to be buried with Christ from our old sinful past, and raised with Him in new beginnings, to our new life in Christ; then we have been "made circumcision without hands". This is circumcision of the mind and heart, and today this applies to both male and female. God will use whomever he will.
Genesis 17:13 "He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant."
Circumcision happened to be one of the blood sacrifices of the Old Testament, and is changed by Christ's death on the cross. However, is is still accepted as a tradition around the world in many nations of Abrahamic generations.
Genesis 17:14 "And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant."
When you cut yourself off from the family of God today, and reject Jesus Christ, you remain part of the uncircumcised. You do not have the changing of the heart and mind.
Genesis 17:15 "And God said unto Abraham, "As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be."
Genesis 17:16 "And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; Kings of people shall be of her."
Sarah will become the mother of nations, many nations, just as Abraham is the father of many nations. Not only shall many kings be of her offspring, but the King of all Kings, Jesus Christ, the Savior to all. This will be a miracle birth, for Sarah is eighty nine years old by this time, and not only is she barren, but she is far past the time that is child bearing years.
Genesis 17:17 "Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear ?"
Many today say that Abraham was laughing in doubt at even the possibility of this birth, however I tend to believe that Abraham trusted God, and had seen many times in his life where God had done the impossible for him. I believe this was a joyful laughter. Sort of like the joy that comes with winning the big game, or having your first child; and by my having both children and grandchildren, I know the joy with each birth. Abraham knew God keeps His word, and this was accepted by him with the assurance that it would come to pass.
Genesis 17:18 "And Abraham said unto God, "O that Ishmael might live before Thee!"
Ishmael was the son of Hagar, the bond woman, by Abraham, and Abraham loved that boy.
Genesis 17:19 "And God said, "Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him."
This is implying that both Christ, and Israel being the "seed". The word "Isaac" in the Hebrew tongue, means "laughter", and it is the mark of the people; the people of laughter.
Genesis 17:20 "And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation."
It is from Ishmael the we have the Arab nations of today. Just as we have the twelve sons of Jacob comprising the whole of Israel; we have twelve princes of Ishmael, which are the heads of the nations of the Abrabic people. They know their inheritance, and their parentage, however, the offspring of the ten tribes, "House of Israel", in ignorance denies their lineage to father Abraham. But have allowed the Kenites to convince them that they are Gentile, and they have made that of God be of Satan. What a twist.
Genesis 17:21 "But My covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year."
This promise is not an event that will take place years away, but will take place in the due course of the pregnancy, next year.
Genesis 17:22 "And He left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham."
Genesis 17:23 "And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all the were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him."
Abraham did not waste time and wait for a sign, Abraham took the promise and acted upon that word. When God finished talking, and departed from Abraham, Abraham started immediately acting upon God's promise, and instruction. God made the promise, and Abraham took God at his word. His actions were his faith in God, and the marking of the circumcision of the males in Abraham's household, the blood sacrifices, were the markings that Abraham accepted God's covenant.
The markings today of the new covenant is our repentance in Jesus name, for once you are saved, you do not have to be saved all over again, but muse repent of anything that comes between God and you. Once we learn to lean on the promises of God, then that is the time to act upon them. When you do it God's way, and please Him, He will bless you.
Genesis 17:24 "And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of the foreskin."
Genesis 17:25 "And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin."
Notice the age difference between Abraham and Ishmael, yet all males were circumcised. Even to this day, all Arab children are circumcised at age thirteen, as was their father Ishmael, and each child knows why it is done; for the covenant sake of God's promise to father Abraham. The physical act done to the offspring of Israel of circumcision are completed about the eighth day, for this is also commanded by God. Most Christians today do this act upon their children, and do not even know the reason why, for they do it because it is tradition. Your placing your mark of circumcision on your male child identifies you as to being from one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Genesis 17:26 "In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised , and Ishmael his son."
Genesis 17:27 "And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him."
This circumcision of the old blood sacrifice is replaced by the circumcision of the heart for the Christian today. This is part of the contract, and part of the deed that God has with each of us, when we accept Christ into our hearts. It is also part of our inheritance that God has promised us, but it is up to you personally to claim your right of inheritance. When God created you, He gave you the freewill right to chose and become part of this covenant. When you reject the covenant, you reject God's only Son, Jesus Christ, and all that comes with the eternal inheritance that comes with it.
Plough .~ Seeds .~ Vine .~ Potter .~ Seasons .~ Sonshine .~ Rain .~ Field