Summary of passage: God tells Abram and his descendants to keep his covenant and the covenant of circumcision as a sign of the covenant. Every male that is 8 days old must be circumcised including foreigners and adopted. This is to be an everlasting covenant. Any male who is not circumcised will be cut off from his people.
God renames Sarai “Sarah” and says he will bless her with a son and she will be the mother of nations and kings will come from her. Abraham laughed (who would laugh at God? Don’t think God appreciated this) and questioned God (again) since he and Sarah are so old.
God calls the son Isaac, meaning ‘he laughs’ and says He will establish His covenant with Isaac. And He will bless Ishmael as well who will be the father of 12 rulers and will be a great nation.
But Sarah will have a child by this time next year. Then God left.
Abraham circumcised all the males in his household, including himself who was 99 and Ishmael who was 13.
11) Deuteronomy 30:6: God will circumcise our hearts so that we may love him with all our heart and soul and live.
Ezekiel 44:7: People who are uncircumcised in heart and flesh desecrate God’s temple.
Romans 2:28-29: Paul explains that what matters is the heart. Circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, and not by laws.
12a) You are circumcised when you accept with faith in Jesus and accept what he did on the cross for our sins. For Christ took our sinful nature to the grave for us and we were raised anew with Jesus though our faith in the power of God. We are now alive with Christ and free.
b) Personal Question. My answer: To fully trust in God and give Him the control over my life. To listen more and truly hear Him when He speaks. To quit holding things back from Him. Attribute: Faith.
13) Verse 21 “…by this time next year.” Abraham circumcised all males in his household as God had commanded.
Conclusions: Admittedly, I didn’t even read the passage until question 13 where we were asked about the passage.
Faith made you part of the covenant but circumcision was an outward sign of this covenant and if you rejected it, you rejected the covenant. Cutting away of the flesh reminds those that they should put no trust in the flesh. Baptism is the same thing: an outward sign that your heart belongs to Jesus.
Rejecting both is not necessarily rejecting God for all we need is faith. But when we truly believe, our actions reflect our beliefs.
Sarai means “my lady or my princess.” Sarah means “a lady or princess” so now she is princess to the world.
Incredible that in Chapter 18 we see Sarah laughing as well at God and then she denies it! Good thing God is so merciful and gracious not to get angry about this lack of faith and stuck to His plan!
Interesting to ponder: God blessed Ishmael because Abraham asked him to and Abraham asked him to because Abraham didn’t have faith enough to believe there would be another child. I wonder how the world would be different today if Abraham hadn’t of asked God to bless Ishmael.
We as men have no idea how much our decisions and consequences of those decisions can affect others, do we? Great lesson here for us all.