December 24, 2017: Morning Verse Of The Day

17:7 I will establish My covenant. This relationship was set up at God’s initiative and also designated as an “everlasting covenant” (v. 7), thus applying to Abraham’s posterity with equal force and bringing forth the declaration “I will be their God” (v. 8). This pledge became the dictum of the covenant relationship between Yahweh, i.e., Jehovah, and Israel.[1]

17:7 for an everlasting covenant. The covenant will be ongoing in nature, extending from one generation to the next.[2]

17:7 your offspring after you The descendants of Abraham are commanded to keep the covenant, which is explained in the next verse as the rite of circumcision. The covenant and its sign (and so, the observance of the rite) was to be everlasting (Gen 17:13).

an everlasting covenant The phrase appears three times in this passage (vv. 7, 13, 19). See note on 9:16.[3]

17:7 your offspring. The descendants of Abraham through the child of promise, Isaac (Rom. 4:19; 9:6–9). Gentile believers participate in this covenant promise through spiritual incorporation into Israel (Eph. 2:11–13; 1 Pet. 2:10 note) by union with Christ, the great offspring of Abraham (Gal. 3:16, 26–29).

everlasting. The unilateral and gracious nature of God’s covenant with Abraham is underscored by its eternal character (v. 2 note). God’s covenant endures forever because He does not change and Jesus Christ fulfills every condition (2 Cor. 1:20; Eph. 2:12, 13).

to be God to you. Although there is a legal dimension to the covenant (v. 2 note), God’s covenant relationship with His people is first and foremost one of divine-human communion and fellowship (Ex. 6:7; Deut. 29:13). God graciously dwells with His people, and they gratefully respond in faith, love, and obedience.[4]

17:7 The Abrahamic covenant (12:1–3) is the foundation upon which all later divine covenants with God’s people are based. Everlasting means the covenant would last through all time. to be God to you: With these remarkable words, God pledged His ongoing relationship with the people of Abraham (2 Sam. 7:14; Is. 52:11; Ezek. 37:26, 27; 2 Cor. 6:14–7:1). This was later celebrated in the creed of Israel, the great Shema (Deut. 6:4; Ps. 100:3). Descendants is from the Hebrew word for seed; it may mean an individual person as well as a people (3:15; 15:3, 5, 13, 18).[5]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ge 17:7). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 80). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ge 17:7). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (pp. 36–37). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[5] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 34). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

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