The Promise of Abraham

A reading for Monday, September 19, 2016: Genesis 17:1-8.

When we read the covenant of Abraham, most of the time we focus our attention on the promise of God. God comes to Abram and promises to fulfill the earlier word to him that he would be father of many nations, and that Abraham's (as he would now be called) descendants would be a blessing for the world. This is a good and faithful way to read the story. God is the power and the faithfulness behind the covenant with Abraham.

However, just for a moment notice the promise Abraham makes too. It's so subtle we might miss it. The story isn't about Abraham, and so there isn't much to go on. When God comes to Abram and speaks to him about covenant, notice what happens... "Abram fell on his face." Abram offers his life and his worship to God. God has Abraham's total attention for whatever would come next. Even in the rest of the promise, the point is that God would make covenant and Abraham and his descendants would also promise, to let God be God.

There is no question that God keeps promises and God's faithfulness is what we depend on. But just for a moment consider whether or not God has our attention? Have we offered our life? Does God have our worship? It's such a subtle question filled with expectation, that sometimes we as people bathed in God's love and mercy through Christ might miss it in service to the forgiveness and grace of God.

Truth is God promises and so do we... Just like Abraham's promise!


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