Well, today has been a busy, busy day. I had orginally planned to return to Edinburgh the same day my Mum travelled to inverness, able to get a cheeky lift to the nearest train station on the way away.
However, I ditched this plan, which ended up meaning a monday return, for a more slap-dash, expensive and stressful one. I’ll be returning in the morning, leaving on the “post bus” at 8am.
Why I hear you cry? Well, partly I want to get back to Edinburgh sooner, rather than later, I can get my laptop repaired from Edinburgh, but also, my weekend is freed up, I might be able to go to a free running show on saturday evening, although probably not. I will be going through to Dundee, to see a friend. Well worth it.
This passage needs to be split into sections.
Verses 1-14 are God describing his promise – a convenant. Through which the Jewish practice of Circumcising their young men is started.
verses 5 & 15 go together as well, as this is where God renames Abram and Sarai.
finally 16 – 23 are the final pieces, which finish off the Chapter and talks about the future for Abram and his line, as well as Ishmael, where God promises to care for him as well.
So, lets get stuck into the first 14 verses.
This is all God setting out His promise, His PLAN for Abram, who is now called Abraham – more familar perhaps?
It comes in two parts, as a contract – it’s what God is going to do from Abraham and sons, and what they have to do in return.
Looking back at a time where relationships with God where conditional. God’s love has always been unconditional – don’t get me wrong. However, before Jesus, way back when, to be in a relationship with God was very difficult, every sin, every slip up, required a sacrifice. I guess you’d learn to behave pretty fast, even so, it can’t have been easy.
Now, the only sacrifice required is on of guilt. We simply offer our guilt to Christ, and He takes that guilt, and the sin which causes it away. Perfect. Simple. – Curious as to what this is all about? Look at my 3 part series on Transformation, which goes over sin, Jesus and what to do about it.
Up next we have the renaming of Abram, and Sarai. They are changed to Abraham and Sarah.
A sidenote on names, my name is Andrew, which means “Manly, and Brave” I have to say, I think this sums me up rather well! Or atleast, I’d like to think it does. Certainly I try to live up to my name. If it meant “vain” that would be much easier though… (ammiritematt? OOOH SHINEY)
lets look at the meanings of these names fortunately Biblegate way has their meanings at the very bottom of that link as footnotes. That saves me learning Hebrew at least.
- Genesis 17:5 Abram This name means “honored father.”
- Genesis 17:5 Abraham The end of the Hebrew word for “Abraham” sounds like the beginning of the Hebrew word for “many.”
- Genesis 17:15 Sarai An Aramaic name meaning “princess.”
- Genesis 17:15 Sarah A Hebrew name meaning “princess.”
Well, it seems that Abram – Abraham, gets the better deal out of this. His name is changed from “Honored Father” (ironic since he spent the first 90 odd years of his life childless) to “Honored Father of Many” (also ironic since he only has two children…)
This change of names is God putting His thumb-print on Abram – Abraham, saying You identity, what makes you up, is now from Me. You’re Mine, not of the world.
Same goes for Sarai, Sarah, as her name remains the same in terms of meaning, but changes from Aramaic, into hebrew – from the language of the times, to the language of God’s chosen people. A significant act nevertheless.
The final section is about results. Abram does a bit of pleading about Ishmael, which seems to work out well, however God does insist on Ishmael NOT being the next in line of the Patriarchs. He does however, promise to make Ishmael a father of his own nation (and that is what happens.)
Abraham acts upon his side of the contract, he circumcises all of the men. When we read on in the Bible we’ll find out to just what extend God keeps his side of the bargain going.
In terms of contracts I don’t really have a challenge, except follow the laws of the land, honour your contacts, even the ones that aren’t all legaled up. Same as yesturdays really. Let your yes be yes! and your no, be no.
Thanks for reading!