Bible Devotions

Two Reminders

on January 21, 2009

Read Genesis 17.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Genesis 17:1-2 NKJV

Change comes from God. As we see in the first verse, “walk before Me and be blameless.” When we are connected to God we will live differently. But sometimes it’s hard to remember that. We need reminders of what God has done and what He promised to do. So God gave Abram two reminders.

The first reminder is an actual name change. God said Abram was no longer Abram, but Abraham and Sarai was no longer Sarai, but Sarah. A change in identity is necessary for those walking with the Lord. God is Almighty. He is pure and sinless. He can not be in the presence of sin. The sin must be dealt with before we be in relations with God. Therefore, He changes Abram’s and Sarai’s identities to Abraham and Sarah as a verbal reminder God is the one in control and enabling them to be blameless. So it is with those who believe in Christ. We are no longer our own. We are now God’s, a new creation created in Jesus Christ. We have a new identity too. We are Christians.

And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.” Genesis 17:9-11 NKJV

The second reminder was a physical marker. God told Abraham that he and all the males among him should be circumcised. This is a very interesting area of the body for a reminder, is it not? The foreskin located on the man’s reproductive organ is not something that’s visible to most people. Typically, we keep our reproductive parts covered. So this reminder speaks of the change God causes is an internal change not easily seen by others. Not only is the reminder not commonly visible, but it is extremely personal. The symbol of God’s covenant is carved into the man’s physical body in such a way as he will see it each time he relieves himself. This speaks to the fact we need to remember God’s promises every day. Perhaps circumcise also is a means of dealing with pride also. Think about how a man takes pride in his reproductive organ. (You’ve heard men brag about their reproductive organ.) Having this extremely painful procedure done on their prize possession might speak to the fact that pride must be dealt with.

So what reminders do we have today to help us remember what God has done?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NKJV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 NKJV

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

Lord God Almighty, you are the one who makes the covenants with His people. You are the one who changes us from the inside. Help us to remember all that you have done and all you promise to still do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade. Author of and websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.


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