1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.
2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”
3 At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him,
4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!
5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham,[a] for you will be the father of many nations.
6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them!
7 “I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants[b] after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
8 And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.”
In the previous chapter, we have a whole host of crazy things that happen. We have Sarai doubt God’s ability to produce a child and so she comes up with a brilliant plan (please note my sarcastic tone right here) that Abram produce a child with her servant, Hagar. Abram follows Sarai’s advice and Hagar conceives. Hagar apparently gets a big head and starts being mean to Sarai which in turn causes a big ol’ fight ending up with Hagar running off into the wilderness. God meets with her there, comforts her and urges her back to Sarai. She goes back and submits to Sarai’s authority and gives birth to a son whom Abram calls Ishmael for that is what the Lord named him.
This is the next verses found and several years have passed in between. 13 years to be precise. Abram is now 99 years old and the Lord appears to him and tells him to be blameless and complete…perfect. Why? Because He was establishing His covenant with Abraham. I also have to state here that I absolutely love Abram’s response…he falls flat on his face in absolute awe of the Almighty God. God continues speaking to him, telling him about his descendants, but God also gives him a new name. A name that Abram is mostly known by…Abraham which literally translates to (father of a multitude).
The verse that really spoke to me was the first verse.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.
See, Abram had to walk before God and follow His ways. The KJV says “…be thou perfect.” Now, I don’t know about you ladies, but I’m nowhere near perfect or blameless. I’d like to pat myself on the back and think that I’m a pretty good woman for the most part. However, if I get real with myself…I’m not anywhere near being “perfect” or “blameless”.
Now, I don’t think God was really asking for Abraham to live a completely perfect life. See, God knows we’re sinful humans who unfortunately has to live inside this sinful body. What I think God was asking of Abram was to do his absolute best in following God’s ways. This is where I have to take a step back and reevaluate myself.
See, if I put myself into this story, it means that I need to always put God before me. I need to give myself over to Him so that I can honor and glorify Him. Now ladies, I’m just going to admit right now that I don’t do this all the time. Heck, I don’t even do it most of the time. I’m a selfish woman who puts her own wants and desires before God’s too many times. However, this doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t make an effort to put Him before me. This is where Christ comes in. It’s through HIM that I’m made perfect, blameless and complete…even if I mess it up.
Prayer for the Day:
Help me to always put You first in my life. Help me to keep You before me. I know I’m not perfect, but help me to wrap myself in the One who is and give Him my utmost.