When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
Comment: Abram (Honoured father) became Abraham (Father of a multitude). At 99 years of age and childless apart from one son, born of a prostituted (as commanded by his infertile wife) slave, his change of name could have easily sounded a bit hollow. Facing One who called Himself ‘God Almighty’ (and it stretches the mind to wonder how God ‘appeared’) would have already surely shaken him to his roots, humbled him and had made him fall on his face! But according to the record God was specific and detailed in what he promised to one who seems almost ancient to our understanding. By records of that time he did, however, live in a period when relative longevity was common and he was still a powerful and competent leader.
Prayer: I don’t want to be gullible but I do want to be believing and faithful when I hear Your voice, O God.