Summary: God marks Abram/Abraham as His covenanted people.
• Promises: Tonight, I am going to speak about a topic that requires some maturity.
• It is a bit embarrassing in one sense, and appeals to our immaturity in another.
• I am not going to ask for much. I just ask you to be as mature as me as we go through this.
• You will notice that that will not be asking too much.
Gen 17:1-2 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly."
• From the best we could tell, 13 years of silence.
• Was it 13 years of living with fruit of his bad decision and sin?
• During that 13 years, Ishmael was born and was approaching his teens.
• Every day, Abram remembered the words of God, “Ishmael is not the seed of promise.”
• God does that sometimes. You make a mistake, God says, “OK, we will use this to teach you better.”
• Was it 13 years of test, seeing if Abram would believe during 13 years of silence?
• God does this sometimes. Times of silence “has God forgotten me?”
• Was it 13 years of growth. God had revealed truth to Abram.
• When God reveals truth, sometimes He allows us time to learn it and start living it.
• Slow, daily routine of living out what God has already taught us.
• It takes a while.
• Then God is there, like the old days, Abram may have thought.
• “I am El Shadai.” I am God Almighty. I am the God who is sufficient, who is enough.
• Jer 32:17 'Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.
• The then commands him, “walk before me, and be blameless.”
• To me, this confirms, “Abram, do what you have learned to do.”
• Why? “that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly."
• To me, “Do what you have learned so you can go deeper, learn more.”
• I want to get back to this a little later.
Gen 17:3-8 Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 "Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God."
• You have to love Abram’s response to God after 13 years of silence.
• He fell on his face. He responded with humility and gratitude.