Scripture Reading: Genesis 17:15-17,19
“And God said unto Abraham: ‘As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and moreover I will give thee a son of her; yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be of her.’ Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart: ‘Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?'” (Genesis 17:15-17)
“Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him, for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.” (Genesis 17:19)
That was one of the most important days in the life of Abraham, and it all happened when Abraham was ninety nine years old and Sarah was eighty-nine.
One of the most significant things that happened that day, beside the covenant of circumcision, was the new names that God gave Abraham and Sarah. Up until now their names had been Abram and Sarai. God changed them to Abraham and Sarah. The change was very minute — yet very meaningful! Only one letter was added: This is the letter HEY. It has the sound of the out-going breath. Thus, God was putting His breath on (breathed on) Abram and Sarai by changing their names from Abram and Sarai to AbraHam and SaraH.
God’s life and love was breathed into Abraham and Sarah when He changed their names. It was an impartation of love — a love so great that Sarah would be renewed through this breath of God, and again take delight in her physical relationship with her husband (Genesis 18:12).
“God is love!” When God breaths His breath of life in us, through the Holy Spirit, the love of God immediately fills our entire being, for “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5).
When God created man, He breathed the breath of life into him, and he became a living, loving, joyful soul. We were created to be creatures of love and life.
It was that same breath of life that enabled Abraham and Sarah to bear seed — to bring forth the son of promise, rather than the son of flesh. The son of Hagar, who was the “son of the flesh” was then thirteen years old when the Lord established the Covenant of circumcision. It was at that time that El Shaddai said that Isaac, the son of promise, would be born to Sarah the following year.
Names are very important. Too many parents name their children after certain people they like to please, such as grandparents or parents or aunts, or even after movie stars or heroines in novels. But we need to ask God to give us our children’s names. Their names will effect their whole lives.
God could not give Sarah seed until the breath of God came into her name. He could not give Abraham the son of Promise until the breath of God entered into his own life.
A person’s name effects the life of a person. If God did not like a certain person’s name in the Bible, He always changed it to fit with their calling. A name is prophetic.
In the Beginning by Gwen Shaw
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