Standout verse: "Then he believed in the Lord, and He reckoned it to him as righteousness." Genesis 15:6
*It had been 25 years since God had told Abram he would have a son with Sarah.
*Covenants were made when both parties walked through the offerings, signifying equality between the agreeing parties, and the results for the one who reneged on his portion of the agreement.
*Yahweh is God's personal name, as Abram unveils the sorrow in his heart (Genesis 15:2) God is the true believer's comforting presence.
*By passing through the fire alone, God is assuming all responsibility for upholding the covenant.
*Though the debate still rages, it is generally agreed that circumcision helps reduce complications for males regarding hygiene and disease.
*In obeying God's command, Abram trusted that the Lord would protect him. His whole camp was healing after circumcision and would be unable to fight were they counterattacked by the valley's defeated kings.
*El Shaddai has several meanings; Shaddai is translated Almighty, sufficiency, God of the mountain and breasted. He is capable of meeting every need for his children just as a nursing mother tenderly satisfies her baby.
*The term "walk before me" (17:1) appears about 20 times in the Scriptures and it presents the concept of a position of leadership, one who is open to public scrutinty. (McIntosh)
*God changes the names of Abram and Sarai to reflect their heritage; Sarai means my princess, and Sarah is solely princess.
*God reaffirms His covenant promise to Abram serveral times before it actually manifests in the birth of Isaac. Isn't this what we do with our spouses? We reaffirm our marital convenant with the over and over to remind them of our promise.
YDW encouraged us to surrender our fears to the Lord. This past year has been a year of fear for me. I can't tell you how often I have hid praying under my sheets in the darkness of my lonely room. See, when Tim is home, I never, ever even think about my fears. I feel so secure in his (this is going to sound cheesy, but...) "man-ness" that I am not afraid. But when he is gone all day, and the house is quiet and I'm in my room alone at 11pm with MJ next door, and the door to the garage open to allow the cats to move in and out and one of the dogs suddenly barks at a sound outside, my heart starts racing and I get very scared. I've had to call my parents over, have my brother spend the night, and pray really, really hard that someone isn't coming to kill me or Madeleine. I am stricken, paralyzed and anxious. It was when our church was going through Daniel that I was convicted by the fact that "Daniel purposed in his heart..." (Daniel 1:8). I decided that the best way to banish the fears was to just decide to trust God. I purposed in my heart NOT to be afraid. In Genesis, God tells Abram that He will be his shield. But there's a trick with shields- you gotta get behind 'em!! If you're out there trying to slay your dragons of fear without putting the shield in front of you, what's the use of having one? I still struggle with being afraid. Especially when Tim is gone longer than 24hrs. (like tonight...). Just last night, I stayed up with the light on until 3am reading, just to avoid the darkness (well, the book was pretty riveting too). But I will continue to place Him as my shield and purpose in my heart to rest in Him.
Just for fun: I'll try to memorize Philippians 4:6-9!