Part 1 of 6. Abraham is a normal man and his faith ebbs and flows depending on the situation he finds himself. His desire is to grow in the faith and to be pleasing to the Lord but he still struggles. His view of God is still too small. But here in chapter 17, and specifically the section we are looking at today, God is trying to expand Abraham’s view. Abraham’s view of God is still too small. It needs to grow and keep growing.
Part 4 of 4. What do we need to conclude from this passage? Do the signs of the faith accomplish anything apart from faith? No. Does an outward religion save? No. What God wants is commitment, loyalty, he wants the heart of the person.
Part 3 of 4. In these verses, we find the sign that God gave Abraham that represents the promises. This new sign would be circumcision. This sign was given to strengthen Abraham’s faith in God. Just like the other signs God gave, this too would be a continual reminder of the faithfulness of God. This sign would be upon Abraham’s own body and therefore it would be with him always.
Part 2 of 4. God has entered into a covenant relationship with Abraham. But for what reason? There is no other reason than the graciousness of God. God did not have to bless Abraham. Did not have to count his faith as righteousness. He did not have to withhold his wrath from Abraham. He deserved none of what he had received.
Part 1 of 4. God has already given Abraham some signs to remind him of the promises of the covenant. The stars of the sky represented the promise of the multitudes of descendants Abraham would have. The sacrifice of the animals and the smoking fire pot and torch represented the promise of the land. These were proof and reminders of God’s promises. And now we come to our text today where we find that God is about to give another sign and seal of his covenant with Abraham.
Part 4 of 4. What we have looked at in this text is only the first section of this appearance of God to Abraham. There is a lot more to come. Now let’s think about these things. Is God all-sufficient for you? Is he all you need? Remember “he will”.
Part 3 of 4. All of the previous promises are great and amazing but the last is the best of all. God is giving himself to Abraham and his descendants. James Smith said, “If God is your God, then all the resources of eternity and all the treasures of time–will, if necessary, be employed in your spiritual and eternal benefit. This is the highest point of blessedness and honor–and this honor have all His saints. He who has God to be his God–can not lack any good thing, but he who has not God for his God–lacks everything really and truly good.”
Part 2 of 4. Abram is to live according to the reality that God is fully aware of everything that he does. There was not a moment of Abram’s life that God had not always known. Abram could never escape that eye of God. This is undoubtedly a call to live circumspectly, to live a life with a self-examined heart.
Part 1 of 4. As you read through chapter 17, there is one phrase that is repeated over and over by God. It is, “I will.” God says “I will” twelve times in this passage. In the paragraph we have before us we have five instances of “I will”. Along with these, “I will” statements are several “shall” statements. Do you kind of get the feeling of what is happening here?
Part 6 of 6. As we walk this path our feet may slip. We may have to get back up and start the fight again but always remember what Christ has done. “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14