Genesis 17, Matthew 16, Nehemiah 6, Acts 16

Genesis 17:1

El-Shaddi is a new name for God used by Abram in this verse.

Check God's Names as Revealed in Genesis for a more detailed explanation of El-Shaddi.   

Genesis 17:1-4 

This is not the first covenant God made with man; that honor went to Noah in Genesis 6:18, 9:9-17.  It is also not the last, because of the new covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34.  However, it is an important one throughout scripture.  Through the rest of Genesis 17, God Almighty tells Abraham eleven times what He will do because of this covenant.  This covenant is an everlasting promise made to Abraham, passed through Isaac, to his offspring.  Ultimately, the promise is "I will be their God".  In Romans 9:8, Paul refers to these as "children of the promise".  Galatians 3 and 4 describes the depth of meaning of this covenant made by God Almighty.   Galatians 3:29 say "If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise".  In Galatians 4:28 we are told "you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise".  Since Isaac was a "miracle" child (Genesis 17:15-17, Romans 4:19) so too are those who believe in Jesus Christ.  Just as it was the activity of God Almighty that caused Isaac's birth, so too it is the activity of God Almighty that causes the new birth of all who are in Christ. 

God Almighty, I thank You and praise Your Holy name for including me in that list of children of the promise.  

Nehemiah 6:1-15

I think Nehemiah understood Matthew 10:16 before Jesus spoke, "Behold, I am sending you out as a sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves".  Nehemiah definitely was in the midst of wolves, both outside and inside the camp. 

Father, thank you for the example of men like Nehemiah, who with a single focus set their mind and heart to fulfill the task You gave them.  May I have the same single focus.  

Acts 16:22-25

After being beaten with rods, "Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God".  How convicted I am when I read this experience in the lives of these followers of Christ Jesus. 

Forgive me Father for so easily being defeated when persecution comes my way.  Strengthen me to be praying and singing hymns to You in the middle of my distress, so that hopefully the other prisoners will listen.

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