|Rembrandt: God Reveals his Covenant to Abraham (ca. 1655)|
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Kupferstichkabinett
|Stained glass panel, (c.1485) |
from the south clerestory (window K)
of the Great Malvern Priory,
Worcestershire, United Kingdom
The Promise is the Thing
When Abram, old at ninety-nine,
A time when most feel past their prime,
Heard God Almighty cov'nant make,
Did he then say, "It's my big break?"
Or, had he such an attitude,
That, in a word, was gratitude
For all the things that yet would be?
The kings, foretold, he'd never see,
(The son, how could that come to be???)
And yet, and yet, his life was changed.
Perhaps, you, too, will see arranged
By God far more than you can make,
But simply trust, through pain and aches,
Such gifts which you can hardly guess
Will make new generations blessed.
Scott L. Barton
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. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him,
“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
...God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”