Genesis 17: Circumcision and Sorrow


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This article was written by Hayley Mizell, producer of Bible Book Club.

Genesis 17 moves us 13 years in the future. Our main man Abraham is now 99 years old and his son by Hagar, Ishmael is now 13. After God lets Abraham feel a bit of his consequences of doing his own thing and not trusting God’s plan, God steps in once again to reassure Abram that his covenant still holds true. God even goes further and lets him know the timeframe that the son will appear.


My Bible Bender is the covenant sign explanation Susan gave us. I love how she points out God always has a clear correlation. As she said, Noah went through a terrible period of rain and loss on the Ark. The correlation is that the comforting sign of God’s covenant promise (a rainbow) appears in the rain, which is the reminder of pain and loss. In Abraham’s case, Abraham used his male reproductive organ to produce a son through Hagar. So, to remind Abram that God is going to fulfill the promise of an heir God’s way, that organ is going to be circumcised as a sign of the covenant. The sign would be a daily reminder to all the Israelites that the Lord would keep his promise to increase their offspring–His way.



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