Scripture Reading: Genesis 17:1-8

“I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants.” (Genesis 17:7)

Our passage today deals with the gracious covenant God made with Abram. The basis for infant baptism is found in this passage of Scripture. The Abrahamic Covenant is basic to our understanding of how God deals with us. He does so in a covenant relationship. At the heart of our faith is the fact that we are brought into a personal and intimate relationship with God through our Savior Jesus Christ.

God chose Abram from all the people on earth to become the recipient of His grace. It was not because Abram was better than others. We know that was not the case, for he was worshiping pagan gods with the rest of his family in Ur of the Chaldeans when God called him.

God took the initiative and established His covenant with Abram. This covenant involved a unique relationship between God and Abram consisting of promises and privileges which were sealed by God Himself. This covenant is eternal — “I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant.” God takes the initiative in establishing and maintaining the covenant. God comes after sinful people and brings them into His covenant promises.

Notice the primary participants in this covenant — God, Abram, and Abram’s descendants. The principle of covenant succession is established in this covenant. The promise goes from one generation to the next. Children of believers are included in God’s gracious covenant. God normally works through the family to bring His saving grace to believers’ children.

God promises to be our God and the God of our children. At baptism (the New Testament sign of the covenant), believing parents claim the covenant promises on behalf of their children. This should give great comfort to those of us who are parents and grandparents. God has a special love for our children and grandchildren.

When God confirmed His covenant with Abram, notice Abram’s response — “Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, ‘As for Me this is My covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you'” (vs. 3-6)

When we consider the fact that we are the recipients of God’s gracious covenant, we too should fall on our faces before God in gratitude. He has promised to be our God and the God of our children!

Lord God, thank You for the gracious covenant You established with Abraham and for the fact that we are the recipients of its promises today. Thank You for being my God and the God of my children and grandchildren.


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