I ended yesterday’s post with a question. Have you ever experienced a long silence from God? Have you ever wondered where God went? Well, in this series getting to know Abram and Sarai, his wife, we have learned, in the last post, of the 13 year silence being broken. God has found that Abram was ready to change. Abram had come through 13 years of bitterness, misery and silence from God and apparently God could see that Abram was ready for the next step in his journey with God. There was a new name that God used for Himself when He breaks His silence and speaks to Abram. God uses the name God Almighty which translated in Hebrew means El Shaddai – which means “God who is sufficient”. God tells him to walk blameless before Him and He will bless him greatly! He then changes his name to Abraham…
No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
I understand that Abram means ‘exalted father’ and Abraham means ‘the father of a multitude’. As I said, God had noticed a change in Abram and knew it was time to break His silence. So he began by reminding Abram who He (God) was – God Almighty, telling him what He expected – “to walk blameless before Me” and then changing his name that better suited him and by doing so, it helped Abram see who he was becoming and who he would become. God is so good to remind us of who we are and Whose we are. If we listen, we will hear Him remind us that we are a child of The King and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Our names change when we decide to walk with the Lord, from pauper to child of The King! From Sinner to Forgiven! From Condemned to Redeemed! If we listen we can hear God telling us these wonderful things all day. He loves us so much!
The next part of the scriptures is about another criteria that God required. Circumcision. This must be performed on all the males in the camp. This was a part of the Covenant. Here is the scripture:
9 And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
There is much more to that portion of scripture about the need for circumcision and again I will use Ray Steadman’s quote from his sermon “The Circumcised Life” because he can explain it much better than I can.
“What a strange thing this is — the removal of the foreskin of the male procreative organ — literally carving in the flesh the sign of God’s Lordship! This is the great sign of Jewry, intended by God to be the mark of his possession, that they were God’s instrument to use for blessing among the nations. It was placed upon this particular part of the body to indicate that they were to be physically separate from the other nations. The very organ by which that separation could be violated, bore upon it the mark of God’s ownership. …”
“… Many scholars feel that circumcision was the origin of the wedding ring. The act of circumcision was performed by a metal or stone knife which cut around the foreskin leaving a circular scar. So a man and woman, standing before someone who represents God, place a metal and/or stone ring upon each other’s fingers, indicating that two hearts are giving themselves to each other.”
Then the prayer (conversation) continues and this time the attention is turned to Sarai, Abraham’s wife. Here is the scripture:
15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.”
Now I think it is interesting that Sarai mean ‘contentious’ and her new name Sarah means “Princess”. Over the 13 year silent period Sarah softens and becomes a gentle spirit and deserving of the name. Ray Steadman said it well…
“But she, too, had been taught by grace, and through the years she lost the need to defend herself on every occasion and became Sarah, a princess, a queen, an honored woman, having a meek and quiet spirit, very precious in the sight of God.”
So Abram is now Abraham and Sarai is now Sarah and Ismael at 13 and Abraham at 99, along with all the men in the camp are circumcised. This is the next huge step in the journey with God. There has been a lot of conversation (prayer time) between God and Abraham. God spends a lot of time with Abraham explaining what He expects and what He will bring to pass … and I feel pretty certain He made it very clear that He didn’t need any help this time.
The next part of our journey with Abraham and Sarah is as good as always. Don’t miss it!
I will end this post here and begin the next part of their journey with God tomorrow. Remember, God loves you so much and loves to have any conversation with His children and you are a child of the King! He calls you His beloved!
The Songs from Lord of the Harvest CD