Day 3

God’s Covenant with Abram

from the Advent 2017: Joy to the World reading plan


Genesis 12:1-9, Genesis 21:1-7, Genesis 22:15-18, John 8:56-58

We spend most of our days longing.

In hunger, we long for food, in thirst, for drink. On Monday, we long for the weekend. Each day, we long for the greener grass on the other side of the fence. How often do we see our longings fulfilled? In a world that breeds perpetual dissatisfaction, the longing of Advent, the longing for Christmas, can easily get lost in the muddle of the rest of our temporal longings.

When Abram set out from his homeland, leaving behind every familiar face and place, the sights and smells that held together all his memories, he left with only a promise. God had set him forth on a journey of perpetual longing—longing for a homeland, for a child, for blessing. As the decades passed, and the journey continued, and there was no child, and Abram and Sarai aged, how tempting it must have been to get lost in the chaos of perpetual dissatisfaction. Yet, Abram journeyed on. In the midst of the wilderness, and even in the seasons of barrenness, Abram called on the name of the Lord. What faith is this, that perseveres in the deserted valleys, and endures in the wasteland?

Abram’s faith, however, did not just endure; it thrived. “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day,” said Jesus (John 8:56). He saw it and was glad. Joy in the wilderness! This is the hope of the gospel and the promise of Advent.

The longing of Abram was not listless and languid, but robust and full of hope. It was full of hope because Christ, the I Am, was there, even before Abraham. How much more ought we, who have not only received the promise but have also seen it fulfilled, rejoice and be glad? As our hearts long for the final fulfillment, for the new heavens and the new earth, we already have the promise present with us: God with us, Emmanuel. In this weary world, God has brought joy and made laughter for us.

May we, with the eyes of faith, see as Abram did. May we see and be glad. Rejoice! Christ, the I Am, has come!

Written by Caleb Faires

Post Comments (11)

11 thoughts on "God’s Covenant with Abram"

  1. Jeff M. says:

    As we live in this “Already, not yet” world, we have deep longings in our hearts for the perfection we were created for. Deep longings that in this season can be louder than any Christmas song we hear or gift we receive. BUT the hope, the joy, the delight in this time holds no weight on the temporal things of this world but in the hope of the Gospel and the joy of the Savior, I AM who has come. We long with hope, not with despair.
    God is with us – He is with me right now even as I type this out. Emmanuel, living within me. He didn’t come because I was worthy or lovely enough for His rescue. He came, being rich in mercy because of the great love with which He loves us, to make us lovely – to do what we could never do: save ourselves. Jesus, the JOY that produces!! And the freedom it brings! I don’t have to work hard for your approval or love – but I can live a boisterous life BECAUSE of this great love. We no longer have to live lives of being vacuums. We can give of ourselves freely as You came and gave of yourself so freely. Thank you Lord!

  2. Andrew says:

    It’s so cool to know Jesus existed from the beginning.

  3. Greg Beal says:

    Yes, at times I long for rest, long for adventure, long for relationships, long for family to see the truth. Is that a lack of contentment or desire for better? Maybe Abraham’s faith was confidence in God’s promises that He had the answer already provided to those longings. I guess I need to travel.this life with that same confidence.

  4. Dan says:

    Like Abraham, we have a promise. Not a worldly promise, but a heavenly promise–one that is true and will never be broken. Beyond our longing for air, water, food and other things where our desires lead us, followers of Christ have the promise that God is with them at all times and they have no other needs.

  5. Brian says:

    Wow! My longings aren’t rooted in a promise made but rather a promise fulfilled. I need more faith!

  6. Trevor Gartner says:

    I am so distracted. Whether it be with my job (Ministry), my personal life, even little kings in this world. I let my faith become an addition to my life, rather than the identity of my life. Jesus’ reminder that He is preeminent, that He was before Abraham, brings me back to a contrite and humbled place. God is good, I am not. He saved me, my identity is in Christ. Let me daily be drawn back to Him.

  7. Colt Duppen says:

    Today’s devotional seems to be focused on trusting what god has intended for us without getting caught up in the listless and fruitless longing for the unnecessary. I feel that it is very easy to get caught up in what you think matters the most at the time and a lot of these issues are barely surface deep.

    In the first passage it talked about how Abraham listened to God and abandoned everything he knew. It’s crazy to think about leaving a place you’ve always lived with people that you’ve constantly surrounded yourself with and just taking hw things you value and following. But with this longing it was “robust and full of hope” like the discussion pointed out. There was always an end goal and even through tremendous strife and struggle Abraham went on. God rewarded him at first by giving him Canaan.

    Then in the second passage he gave him his only son at 100 years old. “God has made laughter for me” his wife says as she bore the son. God has given her laughter and joy when she thought all was lost.

    In the third passage it tells of Abraham’s sacrifices and what he stands to gain from following the direction of God. Sacrificing his only son showed that he was willing to do anything to follow God and reach his final fulfillment!

    The last passage is in the words of Jesus and the part of this that resonates with me is “before Abraham was, I am”. This shows that he has been there before Abraham was alive and he is the promise that God has already fulfilled. So as we are longing for fulfillment, we should be aware that God has already followed through with the promise he made, of giving us Jesus.

    This is very powerful to me because as we go along in life we tend to think of everything as the next big thing and we’re always working to improve our situation. Sometimes I feel we should just take the time to be glad and appreciative for what he has already given us. This is something I need to do a little more, as I can often get bogged down by little things that seem bigger at the time. I have to trust that God has a plan for me and I don’t need to fully understand everything in order for things to go the way he wants it.

  8. Brandon says:

    Genesis 22:18
    “and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” (We are all so blessed because of Abraham, through Jesus)

    John 8:56-58, How awesome. I think this is my first time seeing this scripture, what a good truth for Jesus to be sharing.

    JOY IN THE TOUGH TIMES IS FOR SURE THE HOPE OF ADVENT!

  9. Dustin Lawson says:

    Thank you Lord for my joy in the wilderness. Thank you for allowing us to walk with you in this life. Please continue to grow this fire inside of me that you kindled. I miss your embrace.

  10. Pastor JB says:

    How often do we set our sights only what is only temporary? How often are our deepest longings for things that will fade? May we, like Abraham, fix our eyes on the great I AM! May our hope be in Christ alone! If we can shift our gaze off of our vain complaints and look to Jesus as our satisfaction, OH how different life would be. May we seek Him with all of our heart, may we laboratories for the kingdom with every ounce of strength we have! All glory be to Christ, our great King!

  11. Stephen Perry says:

    “Abram’s faith was not listless and languid. It was ROBUST and full of hope.”

    Goodness-I love that description of the faith of a man who paved the way. He was faced with so many obstacles and so many unclear moments. Yet his faith remained strong and ROBUST. What does the word ‘robust’ mean anyway?

    Robust: strong, vigorous, powerful, sturdy.

    Abrams faith didn’t waiver. Sure, he had questions but at the end of the day, it was firm; sure; unwavering; unswerving; fixed.

    That’s powerful and my prayer today Lord is the same. May you help me Lord to have a faith that is so deep; so rooted; so powerful, that no matter the circumstances, I just know you’re there with me and you’ve got control over every situation. I’m not good at having robust faith Lord. So will you do this for me? And Lord, you know specifically what I mean when I type these words. Our story similar to Abram & Sarai. So Lord, as you fulfilled your promise to them, wont you do the same for us too? Thank you for listening today Lord. I love you!

    Amen.

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