Improve your sermon prep with our brand new study tools! Learn all about them here.
Sermons

Summary: The real SIGN OF THE COVENANT that God made with Abraham is not found in the stars. It was another kind of sign entirely, a sign which probably stunned Abram at first.

  Study Tools

Part 3 - Genesis 17:1-27 - COULD YOU CHOOSE A DIFFERENT SIGN? PLEASE!

On facebook I have noticed that you have the opportunity of reading your HOROSCOPE for some kind of guidance each day. Apparently it was Empedocles, a fifth century BCE Greek philosopher, who started it all off when he originated the terms FIRE, EARTH, AIR, AND WATER associating them with a persons character. They are the key elements used in witchcraft today and each star sign is associated with one of the classical elements (water, fire, earth and air.) Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are associated with the FIRE ELEMENTS: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are associated with the EARTH ELEMENTS: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are associated with the AIR ELEMENTS: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are associated with the WATER ELEMENTS. All the signs are now associated with WITCHCRAFT. I don't know about you, but I don't want my life ruled by star signs.

When Abraham looked up at the stars he wasn't looking for guidance. God used them to demonstrate to him how many descendants he would have. The real SIGN OF THE COVENANT that God made with Abraham is not found in the stars. It was another kind of sign entirely, a sign which probably stunned Abram at first. This sign of the covenant probably TOOK EVERYBODY BY SURPRISE.

EVERYTHING WAS GOING ALONG SMOOTHLY and when God told Abraham once again that he would have many descendants, Abraham laughs in amazement. It occurs to him all of a sudden that he is 100 years old and Sarah is 90 - improbable that they would have a child at this age. So he says "Don't worry about doing all this through Sarah - it's a bit late now. BLESS ISMAEL INSTEAD! Just do what you have been saying through the son I already have." God says "No! The covenant will be come through the child you have with Sarah. His name will be Isaac", which incidently means "laughter". God continues and says in effect "I'll also bless Ishmael as requested. Ishmael will have 12 princes among his descendants" (They are listed in Genesis 25:12-16). THE NEWS IS ALL GOOD. From Ishmael will come one great nation, not many. And Abram will also have a son through Sarah!

When will Sarah conceive and have a child? God says "Next year!"

YOU CAN'T GET BETTER THAN THIS - wealth, name change, descendants from whom the world will be blessed. Apparently each generation will have the covenant reaffirmed, forever. And if that wasn't enough they had A LAND PACKAGE thrown in with the deal. It was a permanent covenant concerning this land so nothing Israel or any other nation can do will ever take it from them. God gave it to them, permanently throughout their generations, forever. The promise is still true today and causing quite a bit of trouble.

JUST WHEN EVERYTHING SOUNDS GREAT, God throws a curve ball! He chooses a sign for the covenant, one which was a little unusual to say the least. SOMETIMES GOD'S PLANS ARE NOT ALL THAT EASY TO FOLLOW. You have to be really sure that God spoke before you act on this one - each male has to be CIRCUMCISED for generations to come. That was the SIGN OF THE COVENANT, even for Abraham's servants. This was the mark of the everlasting covenant. At around about this time I would have been saying to God, "CAN YOU CHOOSE A DIFFERENT SIGN? PLEASE!"


Browse All Media

Related Media


Talk about it...

Greg Nance

commented on Nov 2, 2013

Ross, great lesson! Thanks for sharing. I think we went to school together at Harding.

Join the discussion