God Restatement of His Covenant
by Dr. Chika, Flint, Bishop
God appeared again to Abraham after thirteen long years of silence due to Abraham’s senseless efforts as recorded in Genesis
chapter 16, in trying to fix a problem that he should have left in the hands of God. This is why God this time appeared to Abraham
in Genesis chapter 17:1 cautioning him with these words: “I am the Almighty God, walk before me, and be thou perfect.”
God promised Abraham a son, and when Sarai his wife produce no heir, she suggested to Abraham to take her slave girl.
Abraham without inquiring of the will of God went in unto Hagar according to the custom of that age, and she conceived and
gave birth to Ishmael. Abraham was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born, and God did not appear to him again until he
was ninety-nine years old. The lesson here for every one of us to learn from Abraham’s experience, is that he and Sarai sought
to shortcut God. They used the standards of the world to solve their problem, not the spiritual principles laid down by God. They
did not understand that God’s ways are not our ways, nor his thoughts our thoughts (Isa. 55:8, 9). They should have waited
patiently for God to fulfill his covenant.
El Shaddai “God Almighty” comes from the Hebrew root word shadad, meaning “violent,” or “irresistibly strong.” Another
interpretation has it as “God of the mountain,” because God appeared to Abraham on the mountain. Thus no nature worship or
animism was implied.
Yet another translation has it that El-Shaddai means "God (El) Almighty (Shaddai)". The name Elohim is also translated into "God
Almighty". How then do these two names differ? Elohim (meaning "All Powerful One") is evident throughout the story of
creation. It is derived from the root "El" which means "Power, Might, Exceeding Greatness" and is translated into Almighty God
as well many times in the Bible. Many scholars believe the difference lies in the fact that in God’s dealings with Abram, special
circumstances (the age of Abram and the deadness of Sarai’s womb) required special powers to bring about the fulfillment of
His promise. Powers which cause nature to perform contrary to natural law. Scripture certainly seems to support this theory in
the account of God’s dealings with Abram and Sarai. We know from God’s Word that, in spite of natural law, Sarai (Sarah) bore
Isaac. However, many believe that the meaning of Shaddai is much deeper than this.
In the year 250 B.C., a group of Jewish scholars translated the Scriptures into Greek. This version of the Bible is called the
Septuagint. These scholars translated the Hebrew Shaddai into the Greek word ikanos which means "all-sufficient". The word
Shaddai occurs some 48 times in the Old Testament and is always translated "almighty" in the King James Version. Now consider
the fact that the Hebrew word shad is used 24 times and is always translated as "breast". In the same way that a mother’s breast
is "all-sufficient" for her newborn’s nourishment, God is "all-sufficient" for His people. Hence, when we combine El (Almighty
God) with Shaddai (All-sufficiency) we have “The Almighty God who pours out sustenance and blessing". Now the remaining
question is "Does God’s Word support this theory?" Let’s look at Genesis Chapter 49. In this chapter, we see Jacob giving last
words to his sons.
Reading from verse 24, Abraham was ninety-nine years old when God appeared to him as El Shaddai, at the time when the birth
of a son by Sarai-seemed impossible. The Almighty stepped in and did the impossible. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham
(meaning father of a multitude”) and a year later Isaac was born. The Almighty God is also (1) eternal (1:1); (2) infinite and
omnipresent (Ps. 139: 7-10); (3) immutable (Mal. 3:6; Ps. 102:26, 27; James 1:17); (4) Omniscient (Ps. 147:5; Acts 15:18; Ps. 139:1-6;
Prov. 5:21); (5) holy (Isa. 6:3; Ps. 99:9); (6) just (Deut. 32:4; Rev. 15:3, 4); (7) love (1 John 4:8, 16). At Calvary, “Mercy and truth are
met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Ps. 85:10). Today God has revealed to us how Sarah was able
to conceive her first child Isaac. ..read
God instituted circumcision as the seal or sign of the covenant he had made with Abraham (17:11). Any failure to keep the seal
meant that the individual was later cut off from the people of Israel. Moses reiterated the law of circumcision (Lev. 12; John 7:22,
23). Circumcision as a seal is no longer required to come to God in the New Testament, but may be necessary after one has
received forgiveness and has become heir to the promise to Abraham through Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:11-15; Col. 3:11); to insist on
it is to become legalist. Circumcision now is of the heart and not of the flesh, but even under the Abrahamic covenant it was
useless unless accompanied by saving faith. Abraham himself was justified by faith (Rom. 3:30; Gal. 5:6; Rom. 2:25; 1 Cor. 7:19).
The promise to Abraham that Sarai would have a child was ratified by a change in her name, even as Abram became Abraham
earlier. Sarai meant “my princess,” while limited her honor to one family. But in Isaac Abraham’s seed was to have gr3eater
signification. So God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah (“princess”). Verse 16 says that she “also (i.e., in addition to being Isaac’s
mother) shall be a mother of nations, and kings of people shall be in her.” Through her offspring the Messiah-king would come.
What was Abraham’s reaction to all that The Lord said to him? Just like most of us that He has called, Abraham fell upon his face
and laughed, and said in his heart, shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? And shall Sarah that is ninety
years old bear? Then Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! However, God ignored this Abraham’s silly
remark, and restated His Word that Sarah his wife shall bear him a son indeed; and God gave him a name for the child that is yet
to be born; he shall be called Isaac: for the Lord will establish His covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his
seed after him.
In response to Abraham’s request on account of Ishmael, God promised to extend His mercy to Ishmael, and to be a Father to all
who will come to Him through Abraham’s offspring the son of David. Emmanuel is His name, Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of
Peace, The Mighty God (Isa. 9:6, 7; 7:14). The zeal of The Lord of hosts will perform this. The God who has all power in his hand
and all men at his beck and call will preserve the throne of David until the Prince of Peace is seated on it. He will overcome all
opposition. For The Lord’s covenant will he establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto Abraham at this same time in the
We see the salvation that is come through Jesus Christ, the son of David to the world from the next thing that Abraham did after
The Lord left off talking with Him.
To seal the covenant, Abraham took not only Ishmael, but every male among the men in his house-whole including those born in
his house and those bought with money of the stranger, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on the same day, as God had
command him. In the circumcision of Abraham’s house-whole is the covenant of God extended to the whole world, which has
been accomplished through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Scripture reading: Genesis chapters 16 and 17.
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