Daily D – Genesis 17:1-2

by | Jan 6, 2024 | Daily D | 0 comments

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Happy New Year! Thanks for joining us on this journey through the Bible. We will ask God to mentor us throughout this year. We will seek his wisdom and direction daily. We will trust him to speak to our hearts and to show us the way we should go.

I am reading the YouVersion Bible reading plan from the BibleProject called One Story that Leads to Jesus. I am reading the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) as the primary translation for this plan. I will also compare the New International Version (NIV), the New Living Translation (NLT), The Message (Message), and the New American Standard Bible 2020 (NASB 2020).

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S = Scripture: These devotionals follow the SOAP Bible study process. Each entry begins with a Bible verse or passage.

O = Observations  This is where I write what God is saying to me.

A = Application  This is where I write down how I will put into practice what God tells me.

P = Prayer  This is where I respond to God’s instructions with prayer for strength and guidance to do what he says.

The most important lesson we will ever learn, and the most important lesson we will ever teach, is how to hear and obey God. This SOAP Bible study method helps us master this most important subject.

Pray for me as I spend time alone with God and write these daily entries. Please let me know how I may pray for you.

Special gratitude goes to Casey Lester, who set up this template in MailChimp. She also curates Twitter/X, Instagram, and Facebook posts from these devotionals. You can follow me on these social media streams by searching for @davidgbowman.

With gratitude,
David

Genesis 17:1, 2 
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him, saying, “I am God Almighty. Live in my presence and be blameless. I will set up my covenant between me and you, and I will multiply you greatly.” (CSB)

Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.“ (NASB)

Everything changes, everything but God in his grace, mercy, kindness, and goodness. This text invites us to see God for who he is. He tells Abram, “I am God Almighty.” He is El Shaddai. Michael Card and Amy Grant used this name of God in a popular song that uses several names and images of God found in the chapters before and after this one in Genesis. Ponder these names and how they reveal God’s nature and character.

God tells Abraham how to live a life he can bless. He says, “Live in my presence and be blameless.” Just like God did not say, “Perfect!” when he completed his work of creation, he does not command Abraham to be perfect, something he could not do. Only God is perfect and capable of living this life without sin. That’s a big part of the whole Bible story, isn’t it? 

God establishes a covenant with Abraham and takes responsibility for multiplying Abraham’s influence and legacy. 

Recap: 
1. God is great; God is good.
2. God blesses us to bless others through us.
3. God shows us how to live the kind of life he can bless so that he can multiply his blessings through us to others. 

We are not perfect, but we can live lives that are largely blameless. The rearview mirror of our souls reminds us how perfectly imperfect we are. The full frontal mirror of the Bible tells us how we can become righteous like Abraham by believing what God says and obeying his life-giving instructions.

Go back to Genesis 1 and quickly scan the stories. Notice how many times the word Multiply occurs. We are often content with addition when God wants to use multiplication. He amplifies and maximizes our efforts to join him in his work, leading to exponential goodness. 

Evidence is found in verse 2 in God’s promise to his friend Abraham:

”I will set up my covenant between me and you, and I will multiply you greatly.”

More evidence is found in verse 6 in the explanation of his promise:

”I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you.“

Adam and Eve walked with God until they didn’t.

Enoch walked with God, and then God took him on home with him (5:24).

Noah walked with God, walked in long obedience while building the ark, walked onto the ark, and would not leave the ark until God told him to do so. The most highly-praised man in the book of Genesis then wandered off the path for a bit. 

Abraham took a long walk with God. He followed God’s path from his home to a place his descendants would call their own. Then he wandered off the path into Egypt. He got back on the right path and lived a life God could bless, demonstrated in part by the blessing Melchizedek gave him in response to his heroic actions of saving innocent lives. (See Genesis 14.)

Abraham stepped into a new awareness of God’s purpose in chapter 15. 

Abraham reached the place where he knew God’s nature and character so well that God could say to him, “Walk before Me, and be blameless.” This word, blameless, means complete and full integrity. Abraham didn’t have to wait for God to tell him what to do anymore. He didn’t have to wonder what God thought or wanted. God’s desires and purpose were deeply integrated into his life. 

Abraham lived a God-centered life. God released him to do what he knew he would do. He still wasn’t perfect, but he was much better than average. He wanted what God wanted, and decision-making became ever so much easier. 

Long story short: Living God-centered lives like Abraham is our privilege. It is our purpose to express God’s goodness, kindness, mercy, and grace. God blesses this kind of life and amplifies and multiplies our influence. We become salt and light. We walk before God and help others learn to follow him, walk with him, and walk before him as well-finished disciples full of integrity and overflowing goodness. 

Where are you in your walk with God today? He invites you to take your best next step. 

I will keep walking with God so that he can express his goodness through me to those who need to know and experience him for themselves.

Our Father, where do you want me to go today? What do you want me to do? Who do you want me to become? How do you want me to live? Where will you use me to help others see how good you are? Amen. 

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