A Daily Genesis

Genesis 17:1

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Thirteen years go by since Ishmael's birth; enough time for Abram to easily forget God's covenanted promises. Abram was prospering materially, Ishmael was growing into young manhood, the land was at peace, and quite possibly Abram and Sarai had by now given up all hope of ever having any children of their own because Sarai, at 89, is past the age of bearing children.

Abram had no way of knowing, but God was just insuring that Sarai couldn't possibly have children of her own except by a miracle, rather than via natural reproduction. In other words; it appears to me that it was God's wish that He be the paterfamilias of Sarai's one and only son; and therefore the paterfamilias of the special line that descends from the son; viz: Jacob.

Till now, God spoke of a covenant with Abram only one time (Gen 15:18). In this chapter God will use that word no less than thirteen-- nine times it will be called "My" covenant, three times it will be called an "everlasting" covenant and once it will be called the covenant "between Me and you"

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 17:1a . .When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him: I am El Shaddai.[/B]

"Shaddai" is from [I]Shadday[/I] (shad-dah'-ee) which means: almighty. The word "El" is not actually in the original Hebrew text but was penciled in by translators. God's declaration could just as well be worded: I am all-mighty.

Webster's defines almighty as: having absolute control over everything; which of course includes power over not just money and politics; but also power over all the powers of nature; viz: quantum mechanics, magnetism, electricity, gravity, inertia, wind, thermodynamics, pressure, fusion, radiation, light, and of course the power of life; which is a power that nobody yet as of this date has been able to figure out how it works.

The power of life is so far a mystery about which man knows even less than he knows about the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Anyway; this is the very first occurrence of the word Shadday in the Bible; and from here on in, from Genesis to Malachi, without exception, it will always refer to the Bible's God; and used to identify no other person. Almighty became a name of God (cf. Rev 1:8) and was God's special revelation of Himself to Abram.

Although Abram was aware of God's other name [I]yhvh[/I] it was not by that name that Abram became familiar with his divine benefactor. Abram's progeny would get to know God better by the name Yhvh because it's a name of God with special emphasis upon the aspect of rescue; whereas Shadday has special emphasis upon providence.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 17:1b . .Walk in My ways and be blameless.[/B]

Very few qualify as the kind of people with whom God prefers to associate. He's picky that way.

This concept of walking with God was introduced back at Gen 5:22-24. Apparently Enoch had it down pat; but Abram had a ways to go.

A principle woven throughout both the Old Testament and the New is that worship is meaningless when it's unaccompanied by pious conduct. Take for example the first 23 verses in the first chapter of the book Isaiah.

Yhvh's people were attending Temple services on a regular basis. They were bringing sacrifices and offering. They observed all the feasts, and all the holy days of obligation. They prayed up a storm; and they kept the Sabbath. But Yhvh rejected every bit of their covenanted worship because their personal conduct was unbecoming. In other words: their conduct didn't compliment their worship. Yhvh was disgusted with their hypocrisy: they made Him angry and gave Him a headache.

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