When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Walk with me and be trustworthy. 2 I will make a covenant between us and I will give you many, many descendants.” 3 Abram fell on his face, and God said to him, 4 “But me, my covenant is with you; you will be the ancestor of many nations. 5 And because I have made you the ancestor of many nations, your name will no longer be Abram but Abraham. 6 I will make you very fertile. I will produce nations from you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will set up my covenant with you and your descendants after you in every generation as an enduring covenant. I will be your God and your descendants’ God after you.
Climbing a mountain is a great way to get in touch with the beauty of nature. We start out, full of enthusiasm, walking on relatively level ground. As we ascend toward the summit it gets more challenging and our enthusiasm is replaced with doubt as to whether we can overcome the challenges to make it to the top. When we started at the base we could see the summit, but as we ascend, it disappears from our sight. Step by step, we follow our trusted guide, avoiding a misstep that could send us falling down, until we reach our journey’s end. Walking with God is like climbing a mountain, you need to put all your faith in your guide, and you need to follow your guide, or you will fall.
Abram put his faith in God, but he began to doubt. When the Lord appears to Abram, God tells Abram who he is, saying I am “El Shaddai,” or “God Almighty”. Right away God is telling Abram there isn’t anything that the power of God can’t do. God then says to Abram, “Walk with me.” God invites Abram into a closer relationship. God isn’t appearing to make an announcement and leave, instead God is establishing an eternal relationship that will last beyond death. God is agreeing to walk with Abram for all of his life’s journey, to love, guide, bless and forgive him when he stumbles. God promises to make Abram the father of many nations and kings, and this covenant extends even to all Abram’s descendants.
But there’s a condition to this covenant, it’s Abram’s part. God invites Abram to walk with God “and be trustworthy.” God changes Abram’s name to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude” as a sign of how God would use him. God expects that Abram will be trustworthy by continuing to have faith and to live his life as a living example of his belief in God Almighty.
God’s covenant invites us to be in a closer relationship with him. Walking with God means we’re never out of God’s sight. God’s presence is always with us. But are we able to live a trustworthy life in the sight of God? Yes we are able, not by our own strength, but by the power of God Almighty, the presence of the Holy Spirit and by following the example of Jesus. We can be living witnesses to the love and power of God to transform the world.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Have you accepted God’s invitation to walk with God and to have a closer relationship with God? What does it mean to be trustworthy in the sight of God, in your life? What can you do to live as a witness to your faith today?
Prayer: Almighty God, by the power of your love we are made blameless in your sight through the sacrifice of your son Jesus. Lord, we want to walk with you, but life can be hard and sometimes we doubt. Renew our hearts, so we may live our lives as living witnesses to the power of your love. Amen.