God Changes Abram’s Name And Anatomy
God’s great promise to Abram was based on his character. “I am God Almighty,” said the Lord. “Almighty” is the first mention of the Hebrew word “Shaddai,” which also means, “Most Powerful.”
The word “Almighty” will appear in some of the most important moments of Old Testament history.
Job will strongly appeal to his friends that he did nothing wrong but was harmed by the “Almighty.” At the end of the book, Job finds out how mighty the almighty is.
Abram’s grandson Jacob will also undergo a name change, and he too will hear,“I am the Lord God Almighty (Shaddai).”
Every time “Shaddai” appears in the Old Testament, God references it by mentioning he is about to do something big, and nobody should mess with him.
The great promise to Abram included making the 99 year old patriarch the father of many nations, and not just nations, but kings as well. Sarai is given the same assurance, a regal line of world-class leaders will come from the birth of her soon-to-be-conceived son.
Abram becomes Abraham and Sarai becomes Sarah, each name change is a promotion of sorts, their names alluding to being the parents of many.
It’s a good thing God made a great promise because his next request is dangerous, serious, and personal. God wants, out of obedience and devotion to him, for Abraham to cut off the skin wrapped around his male anatomy. The operation is painful and potentially dangerous for a newborn, the procedure can easily torture a grown man.
Abraham immediately obeyed.
Circumcision signifies many things, not the least of which is God’s intention to dominate male sexuality. Circumcision is a foreshadow of the cross, and even baptism. Paul brings to light the true theology of circumcision.
For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, but the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. Romans 3: 28-29
To clarify the matter further, Paul will clarify what took place with Abraham.
Regarding salvation Paul says:
Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised?
For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness.
How then was it counted to him?
Was it before or after he had been circumcised?
It was not after but before he was circumcised.
He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had faith while still uncircumcised.
The purpose was to make him the father of all who believes without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. Romans 4: 9-12
Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised.