Monday, February 26: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
We don’t often use the word “covenant” in our everyday conversations, but we do use words that have similar meanings. Definitions of a religious “covenant” are: a promise of God to bless those who obey Him or fulfill some other condition; a solemn pledge made by members of a church to maintain its faith, ordinances, etc.
The scripture for this devotion details the covenant God made with Abram. We remember that God made an earlier covenant with Abram (Genesis 16:18-19) when he promises the land of Canaan to him and his descendants.
Now God again comes to Abram. He says that He is “God Almighty.” (“El-Shaddai” is the Hebrew name for God Almighty and was used when God revealed Himself to the patriarchs). He tells Abram that He will renew His covenant with him and tells him to walk before Him and be blameless. Abram’s name is now Abraham and he will be the father of many nations. Sarai’s name will also be changed to Sarah. God adds, “I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations. Kings of people will come from her.”
Covenants are not to be taken lightly. We make a covenant (or commitment to a bank) when we purchase a house. We can live in our house, but we agree to make the house payments, pay property taxes, and buy insurance. Numerous other commitments are made throughout our lives. Every fall we make a commitment (or pledge) to support the work of our church. We usually made these commitments or promises quite seriously, but sometimes it is difficult. We try to remain faithful, but sometimes circumstances case us to lose our faith just a little. Abraham wasn’t perfect either. He couldn’t quite believe it when God told him that Sarah would bear him a son. However, he was obedient, even to the point of obeying God’s direction to sacrifice his own son, Isaac.
We at times also fall short, but God has promised that He will be with us always, and He did send His Son to suffer and die on the cross for our sins. We no longer have to fear the judgment of God, because we know that He loves us. His love and mercy are boundless.
Prayer: Father, every day we thank you for the assurance of your love for us. Help us grow in our faith and love for you as we go through this Lenten season. Amen.