Day 3


Genesis 11:27-31, Genesis 12:1-7, Genesis 15:1-21, Genesis 17:1-14, 23-37, Galatians 3:8

BY Guest Writer

When the New Testament talks about the great patriarch Abraham, it’s his tremendous faith that is the highlight of his story. He was indeed exceptional, but Abraham wasn’t perfect. Throughout the course of his story, we see that while Abraham clearly believed God’s promise, he didn’t always trust God’s process.

(A part of Abraham’s story is God changing his name, from Abram to Abraham. More on that in a moment. But let’s begin earlier in his journey, before God changed his name.)

When God promised Abram that he would be the father of a son who would be the beginning of a mighty nation, Abram believed God and it was “credited to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). But his faith didn’t keep him taking from matters into his own hands. He had a son, but not by his wife Sarai. She had been unable to conceive, so, at Sarai’s prompting, Abram slept with Sarai’s servant Hagar. Ishmael was born, but he was not the son of promise.

Abram and his wife took the promise God had made to them and tried to bring it about on their own terms. In a sense, it was the fall all over again (Genesis 3). It wasn’t Abram’s finest moment, but it’s not the end of his story. After his failure, God didn’t abandon His promise to Abram. God had another, better plan. God’s plan was an invitation to stretch Abram’s faith.

God called Abram to a life cut off from his old practices and patterns. This would be symbolized in two ways. First, God changed his name from Abram to Abraham. Second, God instructed Abraham to be circumcised. Circumcision showed Abraham’s trust was in the Lord, not in his own flesh, to put it delicately.

This call to obedience was followed by an unbelievable promise. God would demonstrate His faithfulness to Abraham by giving he and his wife Sarah a son; they would name him Isaac.

The Bible tells us he went that very day to circumcise himself and the men of his household.

Can I ask you to think about the faith it took for Abraham to honor God in circumcision when God’s promise of Isaac depended on that very part of his anatomy? Not to be crass, but the circumstances of his circumcision couldn’t have been exactly clinical, and the recovery was likely difficult. And yet, in less than a year, Abraham would be holding the reality of God’s promise in his arms.

Abraham had to completely trust God for the blessing of his son Isaac. His story reminds us that God’s greatest promises often invite the greatest faith. God hadn’t just given Abraham a son, God had strengthened Abraham’s faith.

Our faith must win out over our fear. Fear will cause us to fret, scheme, and take control. Fear will convince us that we can and should take matters into our own hands. Abraham’s story proves that God’s plans won’t always be accomplished in the ways we might imagine. Our faith isn’t built merely on the promises of God, but on the character of the God who makes those promises. We live in confidence that He will fulfill them in His time and in His ways.

Whitney Capps is a national speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries. Her first book, Sick of Me (B&H Publishers) and bible study, We Over Me (LifeWay) both release in March 2019. Whitney is the founder of Simple Seminary, a place for the everyday gal to learn theology. She and her husband, Chad, are raising their four boys just outside Atlanta, Ga. You can connect with her at or on Instagram, @whitneycapps.

Post Comments (68)

68 thoughts on "Abraham"

  1. Lindsey Hoffer says:

    This was really powerful knowing there’s so much uncertainty with my family’s future. I need to trust that God is in control of careers, finances, living situations, etc. What He has in store is greater than what I may try to figure out.

  2. Megan Ellingson says:

    I love how Whitney writes, “our faith isn’t built merely on the promises of God, but on the character of the God who makes those promises.” How beautiful that picture is, that He is a good Father and desires to bless us, but our faith should be built off solely of who He is rather than those blessings. We must desire the healer more than the healing, the Creator more than His creations and the One who blesses more than the blessing. How beautiful is our God, that simply knowing and desiring who He is, is greater than any blessing or thing that He gives us? If He alone is that wonderful and good, then He is so worthy of all of our devotion.

  3. Lucy Rinehart says:

    You all, I love this community but I never use the comment section to the fullest potential.

  4. Emily Dotzert says:

    This has brought clarity and peace to me this morning. Fear is something that I struggle with and I have been actively trying to be faithful and relinquish my fears to God. It is so true that fear stimulates us to try and take control and do things our way, but God has got this. He has got us. His plan prevails, he is sovereign and he loves us.

  5. Dawn Baggett says:

    God’s way and in his strength- – not my way or my puny strength

  6. Shuana Michele-Hackworth says:

    I too find myself being held captive to fear trying to work things out my way and in my own time. This reading was a great reminder for me to allow God to work. To bring things to pass without my interference.

  7. Lindy Rogers says:

    I was pondering today on what circumcision might symbolise. A submission of:
    – our pride
    – our desires
    – the thing God will use to bring about his promise of fruitfulness
    It is a bringing out into the light of our most private area, that we normally hide, and submitting it to the Lord, even trusting him to cut some parts away. This is an extremely vulnerable process and may include help from our brothers and sisters, but we can trust the Surgeon.

  8. Amy Flett says:

    I wrote this very loose paraphrase of the Lord’s response to Abram’s uncertainty (Genesis 15:5) in my journal: “Look up. See my greatness. See my immeasurable grandeur. In proportion to my own vast majesty I will bless you.” When I realize who this Lord is—how vast His power, how great His love for me—the knowledge of Him banishes my doubt and gently pushes out my fear. I know Him—and that’s all I really need to know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *