1 “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’
3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,
4 ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.
5 No longer will you be called Abramb ; your name will be Abraham,c for I have made you a father of many nations.
6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.’”
In this wonderful 17th chapter of Genesis we have the privilege of seeing another covenant to bless Abram in his relationship with God. The Bible says that when Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.” It is clear in this text that God wants Abram to live in a special relationship with him.
This is the first time in Genesis where we see God calling for man to be “blameless” among his brothers and sisters. It is also a clear indication that our religion and relationship with God has standards. I truly believe, family, that God is yet calling us today to have a walk that is blameless among our peers. We are to be a people that never harm one another or cause others pain and brokenness.
Two weeks ago, I was reminded of this as we gathered for Fall Convocation, to worship, fellowship and renew our focus as a covenant community. I have learned from this passage that when God makes a covenant or a promise with man it is an eternal thing. His promises are for our good and prosperity.
According to this passage God made all things new; the new name in this verse is a picture that comes because of the covenant change. With God’s covenant comes purpose, change and new life. When God changes Abram’s name, he changes Abraham. (II. Cor.5:17)
What an amazing connection point to focus on! When God saved us from sin we too experienced a change. We are no longer the same old person, but rather have become new creatures because of the new birth, and the new covenant and promises of God.
Convocation reminded me of God’s wonderful promises for us this year as a covenant community. The promises for us are both present and future blessings as we journey together. Because of Abraham we have been able to become children of God. The promise of many nations included not only the Jewish race but the entire world.
The promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ came by faith through a covenant given by God to man. Abraham did not have to work for this promise, he did not have to do anything to earn God’s favor, God initiated everything and chose to invite Abraham into his blessing.
What a privilege to be connected to one another and experience the presence of God in community. Convocation in Christian higher education is a glorious reminder of how precious we are to God, and what it means to be a family of worshippers at Fresno Pacific University.