Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Abram Is Promised to Be Father of Many Nations

Date: PM
Text: Genesis 17:3-8
Psalters: 426, 302, 243, 289
Series: Abram
  1. The promise.
    1. First, the God of the covenant promised Abram that He would multiply him exceedingly (Genesis 17:2).
      1. The promise has two parts.
      2. Physically, this is Abram’s natural seed: the seed of Ismael, of Esau, and of Jacob.
      3. Spiritually, Abram is the father of all believers (Rom. 4:11,16; 9:7,8; Gal. 3:7,16,29). And it also speaks of the King of kings, Christ Jesus the Lord.
    2. Second, the God repeats the promise to give to Abram and his seed the land of Canaan (Genesis 17:8).
    3. In anticipation, God changes their names.
  2. The basis for these renewed and expanded promises is the fact that God establishes His covenant with Abraham and his seed.
    1. Notice that it is identified as “My covenant.”
    2. Further, God describes the relationship as His being “a God to thee” (cf. Ps. 63:1).
      1. Jehovah is theirs in all His greatness, riches, and glory, and in His truth, righteousness, and grace.
      2. This makes clear that the covenant is a relationship of intimate communion/love, not a promise, a contract, or a way.
    3. And this makes Abraham and his seed to be God’s people, for it is a mutual fellowship: Friend/Sovereign with friend/servant.
  3. The implications.
    1. This assures Abraham that Jehovah will do all that is necessary to maintain the covenant and to realize His promises.
    2. And the same is true with respect to The Seed, the Messiah (Gal. 3:16).
    3. Those with whom the covenant is established may know God promises to maintain it forever: “everlasting.”