This past Sunday morning I had the opportunity to fill in for my Bible study teacher who was on vacation. He has been going through the book of Genesis in our class, chapter by chapter. As I looked at my chapter – Genesis 17 – I realized that this was the chapter where God tells Abraham that Sarah would have a child and his name would be Isaac. To be honest with you, I was not really excited about getting chapter 17. How many times have we heard about God coming to Abraham and telling him that he will have a child – over and over and over!
As I began to study, I started to realize that there is so much more in this chapter than just a story of God coming and telling about a child being born.
Let’s see a show of hands, how many of you have either read (book or cliff notes) or watched the movie “Romeo and Juliet”? In the second act Juliet is standing on a balcony proclaiming her love for Romeo without knowing that he is standing down below hidden from her. She ask the question, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.”
What in the world was Juliet saying? She was saying that it did not matter the “name” of the rose because it would still smell as sweet if it were called something else. She was saying that names really don’t matter! In today’s society, I would say that that is accurate…names don’t really matter. But that was NOT the case in the Bible! NAMES WERE IMPORTANT. NAMES WERE HUGE! We can see this by the fact that one child was given his names before he was even born – Isaiah 9:6
In the first verse of Genesis 17, God comes right out and says, “Hello Abram, I AM GOD ALMIGHTY”! What a way to make your presence known after a lengthy time of no communication between God and Abram. God pretty much walked in the door and said, “Hello Abram, I am IT! I am the all-powerful & all-sustaining God”. This would seem a bit haughty for someone to say to another person, but this was God who was saying this…the only one who could back up his name with his actions! As soon as God told Abram that “I AM GOD ALMIGHTY”, He changes his name to Abraham because he was going to make him a “father of multitudes”. (Abram’s meaning ia “Exalted Father” / Abraham’s meaning is “father of multitudes”) How was God going to do this – by using Sarah to birth a child named Isaac.
Here is what I saw clearly in this chapter…GOD is “GOD ALMIGHTY”. He is the all-sufficient, all-powerful God. If he wants to do something, anything, he has the power and authority to do it. God said that Abraham would be a father of multitudes and God delivered. Twelve times in chapter 17 God says “I Will”. God is the one who is in control and can handle anything and everything that comes up in our lives.
So why then do we think we know more than God? Why is it that we think we have better ways of taking care of situations or, better yet, why do we think we have the right to tell God not to worry about us because we have everything under control?
My name simply means “Healer”. Until the meaning of the name Jason is changed to “God Almighty”, I think the best thing I can do is let HIM take care of everything that comes into my life, bucauase He is El Shaddai – God Almighty.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6