Your Name Shall Be Abraham
Thirteen years have passed since the close of chapter 16 and Abram's son Ishmael being born. In spite of Abram's efforts to force the timing of God's promise by having a child with Hagar, he still has to wait 13 more years before God brings about the divine consummation of the divine promise!Now, as God speaks to Abram again, God provides him with two additional assurances of his covenant promises. God has already given Abram the covenant signs of the stars, and of the covenant ceremony in which God swore by his own life. In Genesis 17, God will also change Abram's name to Abraham, and provide circumcision as a covenant seal.And despite all his personal doubts and discouragements, Abraham trusts and obeys God in the midst of his fears. Abraham would become the "father of a multitude", as God had intimated from the beginning of this covenant in Genesis 12:3 that "in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."