As we continue in our series on covenantal identity we move from the universal covenant of Noah into the lasting covenant God makes with Abraham. The story of Abraham covers almost 15 chapters of Genesis (starting toward the end of Chapter 11) and tells us a great deal about him, his wife Sarah, their Son Isaac, and the relationship that he had with God.
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” (Genesis 15:1)
God chose Abraham and wanted to have relationship with him and offers his promise of protection and provision. However, Abraham questions this because he has no children and so how can this be?
I love the picture of the sky covered in stars. Just this week I saw some images from Mars with the stars scattered everywhere and was awestruck at the goodness and creativity of God. I see too these wonderful characteristics of our maker as I look up at night when there is a clear sky.
That is how God answers Abraham. He takes him outside and says: “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” (Genesis 15:5)
The descendants of Abraham are numerous – and the covenant which God makes with him is one which is hereditary. Not only shall Abraham become a man of nations (that’s what his name means), but as long as these descendants live and accept their covenant responsibility then God will be their God.
Remember the 4 S’s. Sacrifice, Sign, Seal and Stipulation. Each one of these are clearly expressed within this covenant between God and Abraham and his descendants. Note this is not universal – as with the covenant made with Noah and all who walk the earth - but specific to the family of Abraham.
On Sunday we will unpack this covenant a little more and “dig into” what it means for us today as we look at our covenantal identity. If you haven’t already, download the supporting resource to this series and invest in relationship with God, the one on whom our identity rests.