Genesis and the New Covenant, chapter 17

To: People being made temples of God’s spirit: “God’s Church ” 7/30/18, God’s 5th month, AV 18, 5778 until sunset.

      From what we know of Abraham’s life; from when God revealed Himself and led him from Ur; “he never serve gods of his imagination nor made idols.” We know Jesus came through Shem’s descendents and that Noah was complementary of Shem’s worship. (See Gen 9:26) We don’t know if Terah, “Abraham’s father” made or regarded idols. By the time we get to descendent “Laban” the Syrian, “Jacob’s father in law” we find daughter “Rachel” stealing his idol and him chasing to get it back. The point is; “making physical and mental idols for the purpose of worship runs deep in human history.” Our inherited nature with demonic help, “pulls us toward the worshiping entities of the imagination.” God constantly warned the Israelites, “through Moses and other prophets” not to fall victim to such idolatry.

      (2Kings 17:12-13; “For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, “you shall not do this thing.” Yet the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, “turn you from YOUR evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.”)

       What do modern day professing Christians do that’s likened to Israel’s sins? They are numerous! Christendom has turned to a pagan calendar, the ways of Baal and Moloch. Ways of the very people whose sins caused God to give their lands to the Israelites. Why can’t we understand that God hides His face from professing Christendom who holds to the traditions of Baal? How can they expect our Creator to hear their prayers while they are turning to pagan practices and away from God’s Way? In God’s view, “what should we think of ourselves?” Jesus tells us through Isaiah.

       (Isaiah 64:8; “But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter; and we all are the work of Your hand.”) We should examine this world’s customs, traditions, their origins and consider God’s previous judgments on Israel? It’s difficult for the fleshly mind to think of ourselves as clay and God the Potter, “but if we aren’t yielded to God in this manner we are not of His sheep.” When Abraham looked back on his life of faith, “he had no problem realizing that he was the clay.”

      (Gen 17:1-8; “When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the sovereign God. Walk before Me and be blameless. Then I will confirm My covenant between Me and you, and I will give you a multitude of descendants.” Abram bowed down with his face to the ground, and God said to him, “As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer will your name be Abram. Instead, your name will be Abraham because I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you extremely fruitful. I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you. (7) I will confirm My covenant as a perpetualas an eternal” covenant between Me and you. It will extend to your descendants after you throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you. (Remember Galatians 3:29?) I will give the whole land of Canaan – the land where you are now residing – to you and your descendants after you as a permanent possession. I will be their God.”)

      Prophecy extends to spiritual Israelites “Jews: who are called to be Christ like! This covenant promise is spiritual and permanent! Somewhat different than the one given through Moses to the Israelites. (That covenant had a guardian “the law” and was conditional.) God’s New Covenant through Jesus is by promise “as was His covenant with Abraham.” (Through God’s calling and the imputation of His spirit; He makes recipients pliable and at one with Himself.)

      God’s covenant with the Israelites was, “if you obey, if you keep, then I will confirm.” (It’s the gifted love for God’s Way, that leads Believers IN, “Christians” to genuine repentance.) It’s gifted repentance toward God for having lived according to the flesh. The old covenant looked forward to when “circumcision would be of the heart - mind.” (See Romans 2:28) His commandments are for our good.

      (Deut 10:13-16; “Keep the Lord’s commandments and statutes that I am giving you today for your own good? The heavens – indeed the highest heavens – belong to the Lord your God, as does the earth and everything in it. However, only to your ancestors did He show His loving favor, and He chose you, their descendants, from all peoples – as is apparent today. Therefore, cleanse “circumcise the foreskin of “your heart and stop being so stubborn!”) Hebrew:circumcise the foreskin of.?” Reference is to the Abrahamic covenant prompts Moses to recall the sign of that covenant, namely, physical circumcision (Gen 17:9-14). Just as that act signified total covenant obedience, so spiritual circumcision (cleansing of the heart) signifies more internally, a commitment to be pliable and obedient to the will of God (see also. Deut 30:6; Jer 4:4; 9:26).

      (Deut 10:17-22; “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who is unbiased and takes no bribe, who justly treats the orphan and widow, and who loves resident foreigners, giving them food and clothing. So you must love the resident foreigner because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. Revere the Lord your God, serve Him, be loyal to Him and take oaths only in His name. He is the One you should praise; He is your God, the One who has done these great and awesome things for you that you have seen. When your ancestors went down to Egypt, they numbered only seventy, but now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky.”) Can we see that God’s law hinges on Godly love? A love beyond fleshly, human choice and instinct.

      (Gen 17:9-14; “Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep the covenantal requirement I am imposing on you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My requirement that you and your descendants after you must keep: Every male among you must be circumcised. You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskins. This will be a reminder of the covenant between Me and you. Throughout your generations every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, whether born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not one of your descendants. They must indeed be circumcised, whether born in your house or bought with money. The sign of My covenant will be visible in your flesh as a permanent reminder. Any uncircumcised male who has not been circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin will be cut off from his people – he has failed to carry out My requirement.”)

      Physical circumcision should be done with the understanding “that it foreshadows the deeper spiritual meaning; circumcision of the heart - mind.” Concerning Abraham’s latter day descendents, Moses was led to prophesy about future millennial Israelites.

      (Deut 30:5-7 “Then God will bring you to the land your ancestors possessed and you also will possess it; He will do better for you and multiply you more than He did your ancestors. The Lord your God will also cleanse “circumcise” your heart and the hearts of your descendants so that you may love Him with all your mind and being; so that you may live. (So you may inherit eternal life.) Then the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hate you and persecute you. You will return and obey the Lord, keeping all His commandments I am giving you today.”) It’s a foregone conclusion: Moses understood the persecution, “latter day spiritual Israelites, “Christians” would face.” (It’s by promise, “God will cleanse, so we may love Him.) We cannot love God as He loves us, except we be gifted with a new nature!

       (Gen 17:15-16; “Then God said to Abraham, “As for your wife, you must no longer call her Sarai; Sarah will be her name. I will bless her and will give you a son through her. I will bless her and she will become a mother of nations. Kings of countries will come from her!”) By promise, all God’s promises through faith are through Isaac and his descendents.

      (Gen 17:17-18; “Then Abraham bowed down with his face to the ground and laughed as he said to himself, “Can a son be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” Abraham said to God, “O that Ishmael might live before you!”) Rightfully, Abraham loved Ishmael. Bestow these blessings on Ishmael was Abraham’s prayer.

      (Gen 17:19-22; God said, “No, Sarah your wife is going to bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. I will confirm My covenant with him as a perpetual covenant for his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you. I will indeed bless him, make him fruitful and give him a multitude of descendants. He will become the father of twelve princes; I will make him into a great nation. (21) But I will establish My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.” When he finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.”)

      Isaac represents,” being saved by grace and the gift of promise.” Isaac had done no good or bad work, “but God’s planned saving grace through him.”

      (Gen 17:23-27; “Abraham took his son Ishmael and every male in his household (whether born in his house or bought with money) and circumcised them on that very same day, just as God had told him to do. Now Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised; his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised. Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the very same day. All the men of his household, whether born in his household or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.”)

      It’s safe to assume; “Abraham also shared his faith.” Now Abraham and Sarah are about to entertain three special guest.

      (Gen 18:1- “The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest time of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing across from him. When he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. (Angelic beings appearing in physical form aren’t uncommon in Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses’ experiences.) Abraham said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. Let a little water be brought so that you may all wash your feet and rest under the tree. And let me get a bit of food so that you may refresh yourselves since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.” “All right” they replied, “you may do as you say.” (6) So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take three measures of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.” Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. Abraham then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared and placed the food before them. They ate while he was standing near them under a tree. (9) Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There, in the tent.” One of them said, “I will surely return to you when the season comes round again, and your wife Sarah will have a son!” (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him. Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years; Sarah had long since passed menopause.) So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, “After I am worn out will I have pleasure, especially when my husband is old too?”) One of the three angelic beings may have been Jesus. Nevertheless, God the Father and God the Son are represented.

      The New Covenant is by promise, mercy and grace: established with God’s faithful servant - friend Abraham and continues through Isaac and Jacob‘s spiritual descendents. This world is yet going to be blessed beyond human imagination, through Abraham’s physical and spiritual descendents. (Review Galatians 3:23-29, “followers of Jesus are heirs with Abraham.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.