Daily Thought for: 15th January
ABRAHAM—‘BE THOU PERFECT’
Genesis 16 and 17
After the remarkable events recorded in Genesis chapter 15, many things
were to happen before God eventually fulfilled His promise of a son to
Abram. The years between should have been characterized by the words of
C H MACKINTOSHGod makes a promise, faith believes it; hope anticipates
it; patience waits quietly for it. However, if Abram could have waited
patiently, Sarai certainly could not. She insisted that they resort to
human expediency, and do things their own way. Abram had heard the promises
of God on a number of occasions, so he would have known that Sarais way
was not Gods way; nevertheless to please his wife he fell in with her
However, they soon saw the error of their ways when Sarai was despised in the eyes of Hagar, who although only her maid, was now expecting her husbands child. The girl was banished by Sarai, but she was restored by God who gave her special promises for her son, 16. 10, but said that he would be a wild man and a continual problem to the familysee the consequences of self-will!
Thirteen years of silence followed Abram and Sarais tragic scheme, unlike the previous ten years that Abram had spent in Canaan when the Lord had appeared to him regularly. Eventually the Lord did appear again to Abram and said, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect, 17. 1. This perfection could never have been that Abram should be sinless, but rather that his life should be seen as blameless, showing a desire to please God alone and to follow His word.
God also changed his name from Abram to Abraham which was more fitting to the fulfilment of His promisesfor a father of many nations have I made thee. Then lastly, circumcision was brought ina seal of the righteousness of faith, Rom. 4. 11; cf. Eph. 1. 13; 4. 30.
Imagine Abraham then speaking to his family, instructing them about the new names (Abraham, Sarah and Isaac) and the new act of obedience (circumcision), but telling them that the Lord had again promised an everlasting covenant and an everlasting homeland.