Genesis #15: The Promise - Signs of Change

Genesis: The Promise  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:41
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The waiting game

What about me?

There is a danger in reading a text like we have today.
Abram and Sarai were pagan’s.
Spent years going against God’s will.
Yet God blesses them
The temptation when we look at someone like Abram is “What about me? ” I come to church, I try to do the right things… i”m not perfect, but I try really really hard. Why don’t I get to experience miracles like this?
Why not me?
For us it’s just the gap from chapter 16 to chapter 17
But it’s been 13 years since he messed up. It’s been 24 years since God First made the promise.
He is 99 years old and he’s still waiting when God shows up.
Genesis 17:1 NIV
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
God shows up and skips the hey Abram how have you been. Instead he goes straight to I am El Shaddai… all powerful… God proclaims that he is the one who Can do what Abram can not…
Walk before me faithfully and be blameless
Essentially - Be perfect
Abram hasn’t been perfect at any point in this story. he knows the mistakes he has made.
But God says anyway… do that and I will make my covenant… I will multiply you
What’s his response? Vs 3 tells us he falls on his face.
He knows he can’t walk perfectly before God, so instead he falls on his face. As if to say kill me now if that’s what I have to do. Just go ahead and get it over.
That’s an act of submission.
Now we might think that God would say, ok, you can’t do that.. let me lower the standards.
But he doesn’t. in fact in a few hundred years, God tells Moses:
Leviticus 19:2 NIV
“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
This is always God’s standard.
What’s your response
God responded though:
Genesis 17:4–7 NIV
“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
Genesis 17:8 NIV
The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
Genesis 17:9 NIV
Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.
Genesis 17:10–14 NIV
This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
Genesis 17:15–16 NIV
God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
Again someone else not worthy… only getting new name a new identity
This is the middle of her story
Genesis 17:17–18 NIV
Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
Genesis 17:19–21 NIV
Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.”
Genesis 17:22–24 NIV
When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him. On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised,

It takes time to build great faith

Blameless doesn’t mean perfect, but a right heart.

We have to walk with God to claim the promises of God

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