What does it say?
The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. Abram longed for a son because one of his servants would be his aire. God told him in the vision to look at the stars and if he could count them, that is the number of his descendants. I cannot image the stars visible to the eye, in a desert, before electric lighting. Abram believed in the word of the Lord; the Lord reckoned it to him as righteous. The Lord reckons the man who believes His word as righteous. Paul and James relate Christian belief in Christ to this passage. (Rom.4:3; Gal.3:6; Jam.2:23) Abram sacrificed animals and cut them in two and laid them separated, as the Lord commanded. God told Abram that His descendants would be enslaved but He would rescue them and bring them into the land of Canaan. After the sun had set and it was very dark, the Lord passed between the halves and was visible, as a smoking oven and a flaming torch. Since she could not conceive, Sarai reasoned to give Hagar, her Egyptian made, to give Abram a child. Abram listened to the voice of his wife, he went into Hagar and she conceived but the Sarai became jealous and treated Hagar harshly. Let us not forget that the Lord God cursed the ground because Adam listened to the voice of his wife rather than the word of the Lord. Hagar fled but the Angel of the Lord told her to return and submit herself to Sarai but assured her that her descendants through Ismael would be to many to count and they would live east of his brothers and no one would get along with (them) him. Hagar’s descendants would be a thorn in the side of Sarai’s descendants. Abram was 86 years old when Ismael was born. When Abram was 99 years old, which would make Ismael 13 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and told him to walk before Him and be blameless. Abram fell on his face and the Lord walked with Abram to make him a multitude of nations. The Lord changed his name to Abraham. The Lord covenanted to give the land as an everlasting possession to Abraham’s descendants through his wife Sarai; however, Abraham and his descendants must be circumcised. Because he listened to his wife Sarai and tried to fulfill the word of the Lord through the flesh. The covenant for the land of Canaan and all the the Lord had promised to Abraham would come, not through Ismael but through Isaac whom Sarah would bear. The Lord changed Sarai’s name to Sarah. Abraham said, that God should make Ismael great, He agreed, but told him that the covenant would be fulfilled through his wife Sarah, not Ismael. Abraham, Ismael and all of the male servants were circumcised as the Lord commanded.
What shall I do?
I shall believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and learn to observe all that He commanded. Jesus Christ has promised eternal life to all who believe in Him. This promise was given to the Jew first and also to every tribe and tongue and people and nation. The Lord has promised eternal life for me and all who believe. However, though all of my sins are paid in full and I have been saved from the penalty of sin, I will always remember my sins and loath myself because of them. Abraham was circumcised of the flesh and I am circumcised of the heart. Abraham bore his shame on the flesh and I bear my shame in the heart. I know that the Lord is transforming me and I will receive what I do not deserve, eternal life in glory. I shall wait on the Lord just as Abraham waited, when he divided the animal halves. I shall not seek my own righteousness through works done in the flesh but shall trust in the righteous given by the grace of God, through faith in His Son, Jesus the Christ our Lord.