Genesis – In the Beginning - Chapter 17
By Carri Pratt
“Your name will no longer be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of many nations.” Genesis 17:5
This chapter might leave your head spinning and it certainly produces a few very important questions:
· Why did God change both Abram’s and Sarai’s names?
· Why did God require all of the males to be circumcised?
· Can a 90 year old woman give birth?
· What 12 tribal leaders would come from Ishmael?
Name Changes - Why were Abram & Sarai's names changed?
God sometimes changes people’s names in the Bible to signify a life change. One of the most notable life changes was by “Saul”, who persecuted Christians to “Paul” who defended and fought for them. Abram and Sarai were both about to experience a huge life change. Other name changes in the Bible include Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter and Levi to Matthew.
Circumcision - Why did God require it?
This was an act required of Jewish men to cut off unnecessary flesh. This was restated in the New Testament as a circumcision of the heart for all Christians. (Colossians 2:9-14) God desires our obedience, no matter how difficult a task. He is looking for those who will obey Him and love Him.
Can a 90 year old woman give birth?
Yes! God can do anything and we can do anything through Christ.
What 12 tribal leaders would come from Ishmael?
According to several different sources, Ishmael is honored by the Christian, Jewish and Islamic religions. God’s promise to give him twelve sons came true. His twelve sons became tribal leaders throughout Assyria to the border of Egypt. The Islamic Leader Muhammad claims to be a descendent of Ishmael.
This week read Genesis 18 at Biblegateway.com