Today’s Reading: Genesis 17:1-9

“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.”

Genesis 17:4-5

Meditation: God establishes with Abraham a covenant, a relationship, which affects Abraham’s life in many ways. First, God tells Abraham what He expects from him in the covenant they share. Abraham is expected to be faithful to God and blameless, or fully committed to God, just as God is ever faithful. Abraham is given a call to fulfill. Second, God promises that Abraham will become the father of many nations. This must have been difficult for Abraham to believe, since at this point in his life he is not able to conceive children with his wife Sarah. But Abraham’s future is affected in that by God’s word he is given numerous descendants and a lineage that connects to Jesus Christ. Third, God changes Abraham’s name. Abram, the ‘father of many,’ becomes Abraham, ‘the father of many nations’. The blessing read in Abraham’s name is increased and fulfilled by God through the covenant. Abraham’s identity has permanently changed. Moreover, his relationship with God now dictates how others know him.

This covenant between Abraham and God illustrates how our lives are affected when we share a relationship with God. God gives us expectations on how to live. God blesses us in order that we can be blessings to others. In God, we are also given a new identity which associates us with God and points others to Him. Our relationship with God affects our whole life in ways that bring Him glory and extends blessing to others. It transforms every facet of our life, resulting in blessing and joy as we grow closer to God.

Prayer: Almighty God, nearness to You is so precious. Thank You for the opportunity You give me to draw closer in relationship with You. Thank You for the fullness of blessing and joy that Your presence gives me. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Luke 10:1-20; Genesis 17; Psalm 10