Genesis #15 – Is God Faithful to Families for Generations?

In this slightly awkward passage in Genesis 17 about Abraham circumcising himself and his entire household, Pastor Mark points to the most important part of the story - that Abraham's covenant with God was cemented in this act and that God's priorities for our families are the same as His priorities have been for families since the beginning.

Is God Faithful to Families for Generations?: Genesis 17:1-27 (15)

  • GF/Easter 2022 & forward! Today???

Covenant Relationship with God

Genesis 17 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.”

God                             “I am God Almighty” = El Shaddai

Covenant                   “berith” – 13X this chapter, 27X all of Genesis

-Translated love, lovingkindness, mercy, steadfast love, loyal love, devotion, commitment, reliability

-Not general love for all people. Fierce narrow love.             ONE WAY LOVE

-Jesus Storybook Bible “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always & Forever Love”

CONTRACT (your works )                  vs                    COVENANT (Jesus works )


  • Abram = exalted father                       Abraham  = father of a multitude
  • “land of Canaan…everlasting possession” = Promised Land belongs Jewish people

Invited walk w/God (Adam, Enoch, Noah) = 1. stick together 2. listen 3. talk = next step?

Covenant Family

Genesis 17:And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” 15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”

Abraham                    =laughter: 1. Unbelief 2. Joy 3. Overwhelmed at the work coming

Sarah              Sarai = means contentious                                         Sarah = means princess

  • Waited 24-25? years from promise to have Isaac (she’s 90, he’s 100)
  • Kings coming & King of Kings (Gen. 49:10)

Ishmael          “God hears”

  • Loved by Abraham
  • NOT saved but blessed (12 princes vs 12 tribes of Isaac)

Isaac = means laughter

= Isaac the son brings forth Jesus Christ God’s Son

Covenant Signs

Genesis 17:22 When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham. 23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27 And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

  • Abraham obeyed God “that very day”


  • Head = Abraham                                Sign = circumcision (e.g. Noah & rainbow)
  • New Covenant – Jesus is our Head. 1. Communion 2. Baptism = our signs

#1. Faith          #2. then the sign of faith (Rom. 4) (e.g. wedding ring after wedding)


  • To this day Jews circumcise sons 8th day (Jesus Lk 2:21). Arabs circumcise age 13.
  • Males only. 1. you. 2. your desires. 3. your wife. 4. your children – all belong to the Lord
  • Between Hagar (polygamy) & Sodom/Gomorrah in the storyline

-NT letters Jews wanted this mandated for Gentile converts (Galatians esp. 5)

-Circumcision of the heart – Rom. 2:29 “circumcision is a matter of the heart…

God’s Priorities for Our Families 

  1. Covenant walk with God

-Past 2 yrs of Covid, in person church attendance down 50%

-38% (Barna) – 50% (WSJ) pastors seeking to leave ministry

  1. Covenant marriage with wife

            -Gen. 1-2 = 1 man 1 woman                          oneness – better together

            – Singular Headship & Plural Leadership (his last name)

  1. Covenant parenting of children

-Today – schools & entertainment (esp. social media) seeks to raise your children

-Next week the family case study is in Sodom and Gomorrah (Disney, transgenderism, etc.)

=The goal of parenting is generations walking with God in Covenant relationship

A good dad makes a great difference

-Bradford Wilcox – PhD Princeton; UVA; Sr. Fellow Inst for Family Studies; Dir. Nat’l Marr. Proj

  • 40% of kids at some point live in a cohabitating home (50% broken home by age 5)
  • Best environment – married mother & father (15% broken home by age 5)
  • Moms & Dads parent differently – dad encourages risk, toughness, protects, disciplines

LOWER – crime, drugs, depression, pregnancy, poverty

HIGHER – mental health, academic achievement

= Practicing XN men – best husbands & fathers (Soft Patriarchs New Men)

According to data collected by Promise Keepers and Baptist Press:

1.    Wife attends church regularly, father doesn’t 2% (1 in 50) kids regularly attend as adults

2.    Gather attends church irregularly 50%-67% kids will w/some regularity as adults

3.    Father attends church regularly 67%-75% kids will as adults whether or not mother attends

Parents are Pastors

  1. Walk w/God, set an example, repent when you sin
  2. Set the culture of your home (worship, prayer, Scripture, meals, conversations)
  3. Pursue like-minded Christians for mutual support
  4. Serve in ministry as a family (Church as hotel vs home)

Encourage Real Men                                      What’s your next step?

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Mark Driscoll

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