Day 11

Covenant Circumcision

from the Genesis reading plan


Genesis 17:1-27, Genesis 18:1-21, Galatians 4:21-31, Galatians 5:1-6

BY Bailey Gillespie

Four years ago, the university where I was working went through financial difficulties and laid off several recent full-time hires. I was one of them. It was devastating since our team was like a close family. After reestablishing financial stability, they extended an offer to come back one year later; and because I was juggling part-time gigs at the time, I accepted. Here’s the crazy thing: it was a far better role than before and wound up being the closest thing I’d ever had to a dream job. The experience led to one of those moments when you think: I sure wouldn’t want to go through that again, but I’m so happy things worked out the way they did. I couldn’t wait to share the good news with my family and, like Abram, say in amazement: “Is anything impossible for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14).

In Genesis 18, both Abraham and Sarah laugh after the Lord says they’ll have a son in one year’s time. What a crazy claim! Being in their autumn years, how would they have the strength and endurance to raise a child? Abraham responds by laughing to himself and asking if a hundred-year-old man and ninety-year-old woman can have a baby (Genesis 17:17). It’s a legitimate question. But God isn’t even close to being done working the miraculous into Abraham’s story.

God came through for them. He gave them a son, demonstrating it had always been His intention to further their family line. And the story didn’t end there. God not only chose to make Abraham a father, but also the father of many nations and the root of Christ’s lineage (vv.4–5). It wasn’t about how tired or advanced in years the couple was now; it was about the kingdom.

The reason why it’s so important to remember how God worked for our good in the past is because it anchors our trust for the future. My story didn’t have to end with returning to that university, just like Abraham and Sarah’s story didn’t have to end with a male heir. God could shape us and build His kingdom in a million different ways. In the end, we’re left in awe and wonder, laughing and marveling, just like Abraham and Sarah.

Post Comments (46)

46 thoughts on "Covenant Circumcision"

  1. Chelsea Mitchell says:

    Remember there is always a plan and a reason behind each plan. Rather it be a difficult time or an easy time there is always a reason for that person or situation to occur. Never believe this is the end, for God always always has a plan…Shall there be anything impossible for God

  2. Jennifer Anapol says:

    Such a great reminder that God is in control and nothing is too hard for him!

  3. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I will be praying for you and your family!❤️

  4. Churchmouse says:

    Diana, may I encourage you by telling you how I was mentored for several years by an older homebound woman? We started out as just two women committed to praying for our church, utilizing email since she could not get out and I did not live nearby. That expanded to sharing Bible verses and teachings and praying for anything and anyone that came to our hearts or across the internet or through the church office. She was invaluable in my own growth as a person of prayer and her insights, and humor, were such blessings. She also had a ministry of letter writing to anyone who blessed her. Our pastors received a weekly note for years encouraging them and commenting on the Sunday sermon she had faithfully heard/watched. She had the church secretary send her the church bulletin and she faithfully prayed over every event. She also sent notes to anyone who gave her a casserole or a kind word. She was constantly getting folks’ addresses. She requested the names of those in the youth group and prayed for them by name. She was an active member though she rarely crossed the threshold of the church. She read through her entire Bible every year for over 30 years. She emailed the new revelations she received. She prayed for our military and our country’s leaders by name and wrote to local veterans groups thanking them for their service. Her ministry, initiated on her own, was recognized and valued – so much so that the church paid for her postage and stationary. When she passed away, the entire church mourned. I remain so grateful that the Lord had our paths cross. She didn’t intend to be a mentor but she was. And I wasn’t the only one. Diana, you may be physically homebound but the Spirit sets you free to reach out in your unique way. A much needed way. Pray and ask the Lord to guide you. Your light can shine mightily from right where you are.

  5. Gema Muniz says:

    Amen! God works in amazing ways in our lives. He has done some amazing things in my life, therefore I’m thankful for the good and the bad because he allows for all things to work for our best. We serve an amazing God.

  6. Diana Fleenor says:

    As an older woman who is homebound because of a debilitating illness, I can be like Abraham and Sarah and wonder how the Lord can make use of my life for his kingdom. How will the Lord fulfill his promises to bring fruit for those who abide in Christ and he in us if I am not “out and about”? The Lord’s words to Abram, “Is anything impossible for the Lord?” hit my own heart’s need to remember the Lord is strong and mighty, the Lord who is mighty in battle. Surely, he can take a “worn-out” and old woman like me (though not quite as old as Sarah:), and equip me to “make disciples” who end up becoming spiritual children. I turn from my doubts and believe, asking the Lord to help my unbelief!

    1. Georgia Di says:

      Surely He can & He will. We’re so glad to have you here in this community Diane! Sending big hugs from London ❤️

  7. Jessica Mills says:

    I wondered if you could explain Galatians 4:21-31 a bit more. I had hoped since you chose that as a passage it might play more of a part in what you wrote. It is an odd passage, saying slaves are not coheirs with us, yet anyone is a coheir if they believe in Christ. When referring to slavery, are they referring to slaves to sin? And if that is so, why is Hagar associated with that group? Certainly it is not her fault she got roped into the messiness of the sin.

    1. Emily Guerra says:

      I love your commentary on this, Jessica!! I was also confused by the passages and saddened if what I thought it was talking about (basically what you stated here) was true. I would love for more light to be shined on this area.

  8. Erika Estrada says:

    Amen!! Thank you for sharing! Praying for you.

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