Read: Genesis 17:1-8
I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly. (vv. 1-2)
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,” says the book of Proverbs (13:12). Perhaps that was how Abraham felt when at the age of 99 he heard repeated yet again God’s promises about the family and the land that were to be his. As he saw it, there was no possibility now of a child for him and Sarah. Ishmael, the son Hagar had borne him 13 years before, would have to be his heir.
But at this point he learned that he was dealing with El Shaddai, God Almighty, the God of the impossible. And that meant that Sarah would indeed bear him a son, though they were both so old and she was in any case barren. And El Shaddai was about to do a miracle even more far-reaching than that, both for them and in them.
The chapter as a whole explains how they themselves were changed as their God bound them to him by covenant. This was the relationship signaled by their new names (for though we have all along been calling them Abraham and Sarah, up to now Scripture has referred to them as Abram and Sarai). Here is a God who does greater things at deeper levels than we often give him credit for. —Michael Wilcock
As you pray, give God the desires of your heart, and thank him for the great things he has done for you already.
About the Author
Rev. Michael Wilcock was formerly director of pastoral studies at Trinity College, Bristol, and vicar of St. Nicholas' Church, Durham. He is now based in Eastbourne, England, as a writer and speaker.