Genesis 1: Eternal Promise Guaranteed

When Abram was ninety-nine years old and the Lord appeared to him again, what kind of relationship had developed between Abram and his son Ishmael?

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Genesis 16:16 Abram was 86 years old when Ishmael was born.
Genesis 17:1 Abram was ninety-nine years old when the Lord appeared, saying, “I am Almighty God. Walk with me and do what is right.
King James
Genesis 16:16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

In what form did God appear to Abram?

Author’s Thoughts
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Genesis 17:1 Abram was ninety-nine years old when the Lord appeared, saying, “I am Almighty God. Walk with me and do what is right.
King James
Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

If Abram bowed his face to the ground when the Lord appeared, should our behavior entering church be any different from what is typical?

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Genesis 17:2–4 In my agreement between you and me, I promise to make you the ancestor of a great multitude of people.”
Abram bowed with his face to the ground.
God said, “With you I make this agreement: You will be the father of many nations.
King James
Genesis 17:2–4 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

God had already promised Abram that he would be the ancestor of a multitude. Why did he need to make that promise again?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Genesis 17:2–4 In my agreement between you and me, I promise to make you the ancestor of a great multitude of people.”
Abram bowed with his face to the ground.
God said, “With you I make this agreement: You will be the father of many nations.
King James
Genesis 17:2–4 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

Why did God change Abram’s name? What difference did it make?

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Genesis 17:5–6 Your name will no longer be Abram, meaning exalted father. Your name shall be Abraham, father of a multitude, because I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful. From you will come nations and kings.
King James
Genesis 17:5–6 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

Why didn’t God change Abram’s name earlier?

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Genesis 17:5–6 Your name will no longer be Abram, meaning exalted father. Your name shall be Abraham, father of a multitude, because I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful. From you will come nations and kings.
King James
Genesis 17:5–6 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

How could God promise that the land of Canaan would belong to Abraham and his descendants forever?

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Genesis 17:7–8 I make my agreement with you and your child after you for generations to come, an everlasting agreement to be your God and the God of your descendants. I will give Canaan to you and the child after you, the land where you are a stranger. The land will belong to your family forever, and I will be their God.”
King James
Genesis 17:7–8 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

Why was circumcision part of the agreement?

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Genesis 17:9–14 God then said to Abraham, “You and your descendants must keep your part of the agreement. This is my agreement that you and your descendants must keep: every male child shall be circumcised. Your circumcision will be undeniable evidence of our agreement. All your male descendants are to be circumcised when they are eight days old, including everyone born in your household and also purchased slaves.
“No matter whether the person is born in your house or brought in from the outside, all must be circumcised. My agreement shall be a permanent part of who you are. Any uncircumcised male has broken our agreement and will be cut off from my people.”
1 Corinthians 7:19 Whether a man is circumcised is not what matters. We need to obey what God is speaking to our hearts.
Ephesians 2:11 Therefore, remember where you used to be, foreigners who were called “uncircumcised pagans” by Jews who were proud of their circumcision, which was only a distinction in their flesh, not their hearts.
King James
Genesis 17:9–14 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
Ephesians 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

How do you think Sarah reacted to Abraham calling her by a different name ?

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Genesis 17:15–16 “As for your wife Sarai,” God said, “you will now call her Sarah. 16 I will bless her with a son by you. She will be a mother of nations and kings.”
King James
Genesis 17:15–16 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

Abraham had believed God before. Why didn’t he believe now?

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Genesis 17:17 Bowed with his face to the ground, Abraham laughed, thinking, Can a man father a child when he is a hundred years old? Sarah is ninety. How could she have a child?
King James
Genesis 17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?

Why did Abraham go against what God was saying and ask for Ishmael to be the promised son?

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Genesis 17:18 “Oh, God,” Abraham said, “let Ishmael live before you as the son you have promised.”
King James
Genesis 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

How important are names given to children?

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Genesis 17:19 “No,” God said, “your wife Sarah will give birth to a son. You are to name him Isaac, and I will renew my agreement with him and his child after him.
King James
Genesis 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

To what extent is God influenced by our desires?

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Genesis 17:20–21 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. I have blessed him and will make him fruitful, giving him many descendants. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him a great nation. But my agreement will be with your son Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah next year.”
King James
Genesis 17:20–21 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

In what manner do you think God “went up” from Abraham?

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Genesis 17:22 Finished speaking, God went up from Abraham.
King James
Genesis 17:22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

How do you think Abraham described to all the males of his household the necessity of being circumcised? What did he say to Sarah?

Author’s Thoughts
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Genesis 17:23–27 That day, Abraham followed the conditions of the agreement. He, his son Ishmael, and every male in his household were circumcised.
Abraham was ninety-nine years old and Ishmael was thirteen years old when they were circumcised, both on the same day, as were all other males in the household.
King James
Genesis 17:23–27 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.