The Impartial Intentions of God

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Genesis 17[1]

God appeared to Abram a year before Sarai became pregnant to set things in order. He changed Abram’s name to Abraham and defined each person’s responsibilities in fulfilling his plan. Then Abraham treated God like he was stupid. God’s plan would never work. A hundred year old man and ninety year old woman would never have a child.

Abraham directed God’s attention to the solution, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” Abraham’s request was thirteen years too late. God blessed Ishmael before Ishmael was born and gave him everything he gave Isaac with the exception of being in the lineage of the Messiah. God’s instruction to circumcise every male, including Ishmael, should have made God’s intentions to bless everyone clear to Abraham.

In the presence of arrogance, God responded with patient kindness. He repeated that Sarai, now called Sarah, would have a son and instructed them to name the child Isaac.  “My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year,” is the last thing God said to Abraham.[2]

Abraham had a decision. Walk away in disbelief. Allow anger and bitterness to take root over the rejection of his solution. Believe God could do the impossible and accept his painful terms by cutting off a piece of flesh from the most sensitive area of a man’s body.

Before the sun set, Abraham humbled himself. He sharpened a knife and ordered the men in his house to line up for circumcision. According to God’s desires, Abraham included everyone who had become a part of his house whether born or from a foreign land in the promises God made to him and one seed – Jesus.

[1] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] Genesis 17:16

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