2.4 Abram's 7 Encounters with God

 Throughout Abram's life, God visited him numerous times and reiterated the promise initially made in Gen 12:1.   Later, the agreement was formalized in a covenant between God and Abram.  The covenant even outlasted Abram's life, for God extended it to his descendants.  There are 7 distinctive revelations of God to Abram that involve the impartation of a promise or blessing.   For a detailed look at each of these encounters, refer to the In Depth section.

         

There is a substantial amount of repetition regarding the components of this covenant.  Repetition underscores the seriousness of God's purpose.  It also eliminates any excuses men can make, claiming ignorance of God's plan. To summarize the main blessings bestowed on Abraham:

          a. Abram's very name (identity) was changed.  He was separated from his natural family unto God
          b. Abraham will have a son and heir
          c. Abraham will initiate a whole new tribe of humanity that is uniquely blessed and set apart
          d. the physical sign of distinctiveness for his family is circumcision
          e. Abraham's descendants will suffer as slaves, but eventually triumph over their enemies
          f.  they will possess a land of their own, the very places Abraham and Sarah have travelled through
          g. other great nations will rise from Abraham (through Ishmael and other sons), but not share membership in the covenant people
          h. eventually, all nations of the world will look to Abraham and bless themselves by him