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As For God, As For Abraham

January 17, 2016 Preacher: Series: The Abrahamic Covenant: The Mission of God Declared

Scripture: Genesis 17:1–14

Key Truth: Because of God’s faithfulness as the covenant maker and covenant keeper, we are called to covenant obedience and worship to the glory of God.




Q: How do you expect God to respond to you when you have disobeyed Him?


“I am El Shaddai”: The Call to Obedience and Worship:

Genesis 17:1-3

“In making the covenant, God stipulates for obedience, on the part of his servant….it was necessary that Abram should be recalled from all other means of help, that he might entirely devote himself to God alone….Where, indeed, the power of God has been once acknowledged, it ought so transport us with admiration, and our minds ought so to be filled with reverence for Him, that nothing should hinder us from worshipping Him.”

John Calvin, Genesis

Q: What is your response to the Lord being the all-sufficient blessing and almighty God?


As for God, the Covenant Maker and Covenant Keeper:

Genesis 17:3-8

“These words are evidently intended, by their emphatic reference to God Himself (‘as for Me’), as a reminder to Abraham that, whatever he had forgotten, God had not been unmindful of His solemn promises. It is noteworthy that God reminds Abraham of an already existing covenant (‘My covenant is with thee’), and then proceeds to tell him some of the forthcoming results of this existing fact. Not even the silence of thirteen years, still less the birth of Ishmael, can alter God’s purposes or change His mind concerning Abraham.”

W.H. Griffith-Thomas, Genesis: A Devotional Commentary

Q: How did Abram’s sin with Hagar affect God’s covenant promises? How about your sin?


As for Abraham, The Call for Covenant Response:

Genesis 17:9-14

“True inclusion in the covenant came not to those who merely went through the formality of the circumcision rite but to those who bore it as a symbol of living faith in the God who set Israel apart for his service. The outward rite of the covenant symbolized the gracious promise of God to the seed and the inner purification necessary for the life of covenant mission.”

Michael D. Williams, Far as the Curse is Found: The Covenant Story of Redemption

Q: How are you living in reference to what is symbolized in your baptism?




Genesis 17:1-14 teaches us that:

-God responds to our failures with a gracious call to return in obedience and worship

-God is patient to repeat and reaffirm His commitment to His covenant and promises

-We are called to respond in outward obedience to the inward spiritual reality

“The God who alone can satisfy the benevolent provisions of this covenant is faithful and will keep his grant to Abraham, but only those who trust in this Covenant Keeper will enjoy its provisions. Like Abraham, all participants in the covenant must believe God’s promise regarding a supernatural Seed, one raised from the dead, as it were. Nevertheless, Abraham’s faith sometimes wavered with skepticism. God’s grace is greater than our doubts.”

Bruce K. Waltke with Cathi J. Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary

More in The Abrahamic Covenant: The Mission of God Declared

February 28, 2016

The Triune God and the Mission of Redemption

January 31, 2016

The Great Commission

January 24, 2016

The Gospel