There are only a very few instances of God changing someone’s name in the Scriptures. Today we see the first of these in Genesis 17. Abram gets a new name. “Your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations.” This is pretty groundbreaking stuff, as Abraham and his wife had no children. In the Gospel reading from John 8, Jesus speaks of Abraham, saying, “Before Abraham came to be, I AM.” Needless to say, this didn’t sit too well with the Jews.
God made a covenant with Abraham. Imagine being Abram and hearing these words from the Lord. He and Sarai had no children, and since they were both advanced in years, expected none. But God said that He would make him the father of a host of nations. And so it is. The three great monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – all trace their faith back to Abraham.
A covenant is, of course, a two-sided deal. “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” God said to Abraham, “You and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.” As children of Abraham, we must ask ourselves if we are keeping that covenant. Is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the ONLY God in our lives? Are we living up to the covenant?
Father, we thank you for being our God. Help us to always remember the covenant you made with Abraham. Help us to make You the only God in our lives. Amen.
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