Ramblings on Genesis 17:1-8

Ninety-nine year old man with a post-menopausal wife. No kids. Zero. Zippo. Zilch.

What a resume for a father of nations.

The blessings of the covenant are laid out:

  • I am your/their God.
  • Please me.
  • I will bless you/them into a people.
  • Trust me (unspoken, but very present).

I am your/their God.
God promises his own eternal towardness to Abraham and all of Abraham’s seed. He promises his eternal Lordship. Now, God is God, either way—covenant or no covenant. So, the issue is not deity but relationship. The key is that God will be Abraham’s God. What is declared is God’s eternal intention to be the God of his people.

I will bless you/them into a people.
The other half of the blessing is a people. God’s intention with Abraham is to create a people for himself. This people will be God’s people and they will be Abraham’s seed. So, what is entered into here is a covenant where both partners—human and divine—participate in the blessings of the covenant—in the creation of those blessings and in their enjoyment. God seems to be creating through Abraham a Divine-Human partnership. In this partnership, the parties are clear. God is God. Abraham is Abraham. Each party has responsibilities. The responsibilities of each act as a blessing for the other. God’s responsibility is to be God to Abraham and to bless him and his seed into a people.

Abraham’s responsibilities will be left for another post:

  • Please me.
  • Trust me (unspoken, but very present).

Initial Thoughts