Reading: Genesis 17
God here reveals some important elements of the covenant. The covenant is initiated by one party (God); but it functions between two parties (God and His people). Sinful man rejects God, therefore God takes the initiative. What grace: holy God reaches out to sinners! When we consider God’s covenant promises, grace becomes amazing. Abram will be father of many nations; kings shall come from Abram, Canaan will be an everlasting possession; the covenant with Abram and his generations will be forever. Galatians 3:29 says “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” All true believers, including you, are members of the covenant and heirs of the promises. This enlarges the covenant community (the church) beyond all expectations. How can Canaan be an everlasting possession? Hebrews 11:16 explains: Canaan is “a heavenly country”, that is, eternal life. No human being is able to deliver such promises. But God, our heavenly Father is able, because He is Almighty God.
Key text: Genesis 17:1-2 “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.’ ”
Question: The covenant functions between two parties. Both parties must be active. In Genesis 17 what is Abram required to do? (Refer to verses 1, 9,10.) What are you required to do?