My husband and I have raised five dogs thus far.

Most were usually quick to respond with obedience.

Our current dog, Meghan, in general is obedient except when told no.

Not that she is disobedient when told no.

Rather, she comes towards us with the question “why?” on her face.

  • When asked to do something do you respond with obedience?
  • Does your desire to respond with obedience depend on who is asking?
  • Are there times you respond with obedience but in a begrudging manner?
  • What determines your desire to respond with obedience?

Our verse today:

ESV  Genesis 21:4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.

  • Why did Abraham respond with obedience to God’s command regarding circumcising Isaac?

Review the following promises Abraham had received from God prior to the birth of Isaac:

ESV  Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD saidto Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Abram responds with obedience to the Lord’s call.

ESV  Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”

ESV  Genesis 15:4-5 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own sonshall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and anumber the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (God is referring to Abram’s servant Eliezer of Damascus, see Genesis 15:2-3.)

Abram believes the Lord again. (See Genesis 15:6.)

ESV  Genesis 17:1-2 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty;1 walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”

The Lord explains that the covenant is represented by the practice of circumcising all male members of Abram’s household as a physical symbol of belonging to the Lord.

Abram, now renamed Abraham, responds with obedience regarding the circumcision instructions that very day. (See Genesis 17:23.)

A year later, at the appointed time by the Lord, Abraham circumcises Isaac.

Abraham had waited twenty-five years to hold a son born through Sarai, now named Sarah.

  • Again, why did Abraham respond with obedience in naming and circumcising Isaac as the Lord had commanded?

ESV  Genesis 15:6 And he [Abraham] believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

  • What has the Lord asked of you?
  • Do you believe the Lord?
  • What has the Lord promised you that you are waiting to see fulfilled?
  • Have you waited as Abraham did? Longer? Shorter?
  • Are you willing to respond with obedience to the Lord’s commands?

From Jesus’ Prayer for All Believers after praying for the apostles:

ESV  John 17:20-23 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.


Barbara Lynn


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