So in our last 2 blog posts, Abram has been on a journey with God… a journey towards his destiny… a journey of finding the Abraham that God created him to be. This journey required that he leave behind his father, his family and his country. God wanted to be a Father to Abram and to transform Abram into Abraham, the father of many nations. First he had to be taught what a true father is…. his father was not teaching him about a covenant relationship with God but rather covenant relationships with idols. Abraham made the choice to leave and set out on this journey to Canaan.
He took his wife Sarai with him and all their cattle and servants that they accumulated in Haran… and verse 4 says that Lot went with him. In the Hebrew it says Lot walked (halak) with him…. halak means to live following a manner of life, to follow the precepts of God, to follow after. Lot was following Abram who was following God… reminds me of 1 Cor 11:1 when Paul told the Corinthians to “follow him as I follow Christ” or “imitate me as I imitate Christ”.
Jump ahead 5 chapters to chapter 17 and Abram is now 99. It’s here that God gives Abram a token… a sign of the covenant He made with him in chapter 15… after he rescued Lot and gave a 10th of all (tithe) to Melchizedech. This was essentially a covenant of grace… Abraham believed and it was credited to him as righteousness. It’s here also that God reveals himself to Abram as El Shaddai….the God who is enough… Who is able and is everything we need. It also comes from a root meaning “to pour out”…I am that God who pours out blessings, who gives them richly, abundantly, continually.” Then He tells Abram to walk before him and be blameless. At first glance this looks like God is giving Abram a command in order to reap the blessings of the covenant. … to walk (halak), to follow after Him and to be complete, whole. But remember back in chapter 15:17 “God caused Abraham to fall asleep, and then He came down in the image of a smoking firepot and flaming torch and walked through the separated halves of the sacrificed animals by Himself”…. God was committed to upholding the covenant.. to blessing Abraham and his descendants whether they were faithful or not. It was a covenant established on grace not works. God was telling Abraham to walk with him, to follow after Him and God (El Shaddai) would make him complete and whole… would pour out The Blessing on his life abundantly and continually.
And finally it’s here that he changes Abram’s name to Abraham. God added the Hebrew letter “hei” to Abram’s name. Hei is the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is a number of grace, goodness and favor. It speaks of revelation and light. It is also the wind, breath…the Spirit of God…blowing on us. It is the divine breath of God breathed into Adam releasing His life into Adam. Adding hei to the end of a noun allows it to be fruitful and productive – it is the transforming power of the Spirit. All of this was added to Abram when he finally became Abraham at 99. God poured out on him… added to him… grace, goodness, favor, revelation, light and of course the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to be fruitful and productive. Abram became Abraham – a man whose destiny is wrapped up in and made manifest through the work of God’s Spirit (the hei) working within and through him.
We also receive a new identity when we follow after God and walk in covenant with Him… we are now IN CHRIST…. we are then able to walk complete and whole, blameless before God…. in the completed, finished work of the Cross and Resurrection and we receive the Holy Spirit… Who transforms us, equips us, helps us, making us fruitful. We are new creatures IN CHRIST through grace and empowered by Holy Spirit to walk out our God given destinies…. Gal 3:14, Gal 5:22-23, Rom 8:14, 1 Cor 12:4-11, Eph 3:20 and Eph 3:1-16 just to name a few scriptures. The letter “hei” is all about GRACE…..the infusion of the very BREATH or LIFE of God within us.
Today allow Him to introduce you to your new self… to the you IN CHRIST, a new creature that never existed before!