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Saturday, January 7, 2023

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.

For further study – Genesis 17:1-27

The key verse for our devotional today is the Lord telling Abram to “walk before me”, and then He exhorts Abram to be “perfect”. There is so much in this first verse that I actually could take the entire space to help us learn from God’s Word in this one verse.

The word “perfect" in this passage does not mean “without sin” because there is no one who is “without sin”. The etymology of “perfect” is from the Hebrew word “”tamam” which is a verb meaning “to be complete”. It means to be not only complete but sound, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity and in accord with the truth.

The way Abram was told that he could be “perfect” was “to walk before the Lord”. With the Lord right behind you, or for that matter in front of you, and me, we will have the motivation to be perfect in our life style and daily walk.

Before we leave the first verse of our devotional passage notice that Abram is standing with a member of the “Godhead” as he receives his instructions for his walk. Abram is face to face with “Almighty God”, El Shaddai.

This is a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. Every time that you see the name of God, El Shaddai, it is the “Son” of the Holy Trinity, Jesus. As is the case when any of the Biblical personalities see Jesus Christ face to face they fall on their face to honor and worship Him, verse 3.

In verse 5 the Lord tells Abram that his name will be from this time on “Abraham” and that he would be the “father of many nations”. The word here in the Hebrew is “goy” translated “nations” in the passage. Remember, this word can also, and is in the Bible, translated “people”, “Gentiles” and refers usually to non-Hebrew people.

The verse is not saying that Abraham will be the father of the Arab world as we have already discussed. Again I remind you that Abraham’s son Ismael did not father the Arab world, but was the father of one nation, verse 20.

Another interesting fact about this passage is that we have here the record of the very first “circumcision”, verses 11-14 and 23-27. The Lord gave this act as a “token of the covenant” between Abraham and God, verse 11.

The Lord gave Abraham a promise that Abraham thought was funny, verse 17. When the Lord told Abraham that he and his wife Sarah were going to have a son, Isaac, who was to be the “son of promise” Abraham “fell on his face and laughed.

This promise from the Lord is key in all of God’s plans for the future. Verses 15-19 reveals to us that the “covenant” that the Lord makes with Abraham pertaining to his son Isaac is an “everlasting covenant”, a promise that the Lord cannot break.

Though Ishmael was the “first born” to Abraham, Isaac is the “son of promise” even though he was the second son born to Abraham. This sets up the lineage from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob on to the Jewish people, the people God sets aside as a special people to Himself.

God has a plan for the Jewish people that will come to pass some day in the future. God is not finished with the Jews, remember the circumcision that God gave Abraham, was a “token” that God will keep His promises to the Jews.

However, before the Lord totally fulfills all of His promises to the Jews He will complete His promises to Christians, and call them to be with Him in the heavens, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. That process will be the Rapture of the Church, which could happen at any moment, even today. Even so come, Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for your token of the absolute promises that you made to Abraham. I know you are a “promise keeping” God. That assurance is strength for me in the days preceding your shout for me to join you in the “air”, maybe today.