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Unit 1: Signs of God's Covenants

Sunday, September 10, 2017
Commentary Title: CIRCUMCISION
Quarterly Title: A SIGN OF AGREEMENT
Devotional Reading: Psalm 105:1-11
Background Scripture: Genesis 17
Lesson Text: Genesis 17:1-14
KEY VERSE – “I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” – Genesis 17:2
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:
  1. In case you did not know, or forgot:
    1. ABRAM = Exalted Father; ABRAHAM = Father of Many Nations
  2. God called Abram to leave his country and his people – Genesis 12:1
  3. God made Abraham a promise to become a great nation, to bless him and make his name great… - Genesis 12:2
  4. Based on Acts 7:2-4 It is believed that God told Abram to go from his original home of Ur of the Chaldeans, (Mesopotamia) or (today’s IRAQ) to go to Canaan, but because Abram was still obedient to his earthly father Terah, Abram stayed in the land of Harran (today’s SYRIA) with his family until God tells him to leave Genesis 12: 1 and he begins his journey toward Canaan with Lot Genesis 12:4.  Abram was 75 years old.
  5. God repeats His promise to Abram Genesis 13:14-17
  6. Abram notices that his biological clock is winding down, and he mentions to the Lord, as if God does not know, that He and his wife are still childless – Genesis 15:2, 3
  7. God states His promise to Abram again to reassure him - Genesis 15:4,5
  8. Abram’s wife Sarai, proposes a solution – Genesis 16:1, 2
  9. Abram was 86 years old when Ishmael was born – Genesis 16:15
THE LESSON
  1. Great Promise – Genesis 17:1, 2
    1. Passage of Time – v. 1a
      1. Thirteen years have passed when God comes to Abram
      2. God is always aware and He is not within time, time is within God
    2. Increase of Numbers – vv. 1b- 2
      1. God gives Abram a challenge and a promise
  2. New Status – Genesis 17:3-8
    1. Father of Nations – vv. 3-7
      1. As Abram is overwhelmed by the presence of God, God begins the full and final explanation of His Covenant.
      2. The Practice of patience in your life – Have you learned to respect the timeline(s) of God in your life?   Or are you so overcome by your life delays (not denials) that you are not appreciative when God brings you to your purpose and His will?
 
  1.  Possession of the Land – v. 8
    1. When God says it, you can count on it! – Abraham has now been in Canaan for twenty years! NOT ONLY THAT! God has told Abraham that his people will be strangers in the same land for 400 HUNDRED YEARS, while also becoming enslaved and mistreated there…but they will come out of mistreatment and enslavement, and they will inherit the ‘Promised Land” - Genesis 15:13, 14.
    2. The grace of Genesis 15:16 – God is giving the current occupiers of the land, the Amorites, every opportunity to change their wicked ways and do what is right. But they will not, and the land will be given to the “children of Abraham”
  1. Personal Mark – Genesis 17:9-14
    1. Significance of Obedience – vv. 9-13
      1. To take on the “mark of the agreement” or the “mark of the covenant” is to obey God to become His people.
      2. Circumcision upon the male. God calls for this ritual to be done ONLY to males, (Genesis 17:10b) (in other cultures it is done to females also, but not for the same reasons) was to become one with the Covenant of God by sacrificing a part of one’s self, symbolizing putting or cutting off the sins of the flesh to become a child of God.
      3. If you were to be considered as one of the “children of Abraham” and of the Covenant of God, the males had to be circumcised.
    2. Penalty for Disobedience – v. 14
      1. In a world of Justice (prior to the coming of Christ) many requirements seemed hard or even unreasonable. But God knows that the salvation of humanity in the midst of being attacked constantly by Satan must have a foundation of obedience, guarded by justice, made eternal by love.