Our devotional series based on the book Climbing with Abraham by David Ramos continues. Last week, we looked at the sign of faithfulness God demanded of Abraham after promises had been made: circumcision. The Apostle Paul, in the New Testament, says that Christians also should undertake a sign, a physical reminder of our new life in Christ - and that is baptism. Today, though, we continue with God's conversation with Abraham.
Week 14: Read Genesis 17:15-27 (The Ripple Effect)
"God does not stop talking after He describes the condition of the covenant to Abraham. Instead, He keeps speaking and what God says is incredible. God continues by explaining how the blessings given to Abraham will overflow and impact everyone else in Abraham's life: Sarah will give birth and become the mother of nations, Isaac will carry the everlasting covenant, and Ishmael will father a host of rulers.
A number of important events stand out in this section. First, Sarai's name is changed to Sarah. It's a much less drastic change than Abram to Abraham, but still it shows that she is as much a part of God's plan as her husband is. Second, Abraham showed an instant of doubt. It's hard to blame him since he's been waiting over 20 years now for a son. But God doesn't reprimand him. Instead, God reaffirms the promise: Ishmael will be blessed, but Isaac is the one they've all been waiting for. Finally, Abraham follows though, circumcising what would likely have been hundreds of men on the same day.
The promises God places on our lives will affect everyone around us. For Abraham, they impacted his wife, his children, his servants, and even his enemies. It's this reality that makes trusting God so difficult at times, because the consequences of our faith do not just fall on us, but on our spouses, our children, our friends, and even our employers."
As followers of Christ, we should never let the duty we have in faith restrain us from taking risks for God and acting on the things that God has called us to do. We all, like Abraham, face the risk of things turning out badly. Life itself is dangerous and unpredictable (and was even more so in Abraham's time). But like Abraham, if we follow our faith we will be blessed because of it and become a part of something eternally bigger than we could ever imagine.
Do you believe that? Really? Remember, it's okay to have a little doubt. Abraham did. But after admitting his doubt, he placed his faith in God.
Takeaway from today's lesson: Our relationship with God affects not just us, but everyone around us. How could it not?
Prayer: God, help me trust that you have not only my best in mind, but also the best for my family, my friends, and for everyone you put into my circle. Help me live and lead well. Amen.