Genesis 17:21, 23-27 NLT
“But my covenant will be confirmed with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year.”
On that very day Abraham took his son, Ishmael, and every male in his household, including those born there and those he had bought. Then he circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins, just as God had told him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, and Ishmael, his son, was thirteen. Both Abraham and his son, Ishmael, were circumcised on that same day, along with all the other men and boys of the household, whether they were born there or bought as servants. All were circumcised with him.
Abraham’s heart must have jumped in his throat. THIS time next year…. This TIME next year….This time NEXT year…. This time next YEAR! Abraham sowed a lot of spiritual seeds of faith and obedience to God in his life and he’s about to reap his harvest.
What happens when hope is activated?
Hope removes doubts
Like an eraser wiping marker off a whiteboard, all of Abraham’s doubts were deleted away from his heart. God never lied to Abraham and he knew it was as good as done. Joyful expectancy rose up in Abraham. Without doubt, this time next year, Abraham and Sarah will be the parents of a special baby boy.
Hope tightens our bond with God
Abraham cut covenant with God in the most intimate, private, sensitive part of himself. Everytime Abraham took a shower or visited the restroom, he would be reminded of his covenant. Everytime Abraham made love to Sarah, he would be reminded of his covenant. Every private action involved God and His covenant.
Hope releases favor
Favor is defined as preferential treatment and approval (1). God has kept a record of all the times Abraham kept his faith in Him and obeyed His commands and His regard for Abraham is tremendous. Of all the men living on earth at the time, Abraham was chosen to inherit the legacy of faith.
Favor spills into everything Abraham does and who he has charge over. God granted Abraham such favor with Ishmael and all the men he had authority over, he was able to convince them to join him in this covenant on the very same day!
Hope produces increase of blessings
All of the men, including Ishmael, would also be circumcised. They would also be reminded that God was watching them in the most private moments of their lives. What incentive to live pure and holy! But, the rewards were great and God’s blessings would follow them as it did Abraham. It would be a blessing these men would pass down to their own descendants as well.
Hope prepares for the new normal
God was preparing Abraham and his tribe a year in advance for the change ahead. Sarah is the princess of a multitude and to become a miracle mother. A miracle prince is to be born, his name will be Isaac, and he will continue God’s amazing covenant. A day will come where some of these men will answer not only to Abraham, but to Isaac as well.
Father, You are El Shaddai, God Almighty. Thank You for circumcising my heart so that I am aware that You are watching the most private moments of my life. Hope in Your word removes my doubts and bonds me closer to You. I am grateful for Your favor on my life and I pray that the blessings in my life overflow into the lives of others exponentially. Hope in Your promises prepares me for what’s ahead. In Jesus name, Amen.
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