Husband-Wife Blessing Revealed to One

God’s Covenant with Abraham-Sarah

God’s promise to a husband-wife union could be revealed through the husband or wife and will be fulfilled to them as a unit. Because the husband and wife are one, a promise to one is a promise to the two-in-one and will be fulfilled to them together. God interacts with husband and wife as one and illustrates the relationship through his covenant with Abraham-Sarah: a conditional promise to be God to all that worship and serve him.

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Alone with God
Alone with God
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

We discuss God’s interaction with Abraham regarding his conditional promise to be God to all that worship and serve him. The promise was for Abraham-Sarah as a union, their descendants, and all humanity. However, God revealed the promise to Abraham as an individual. The context of the interaction enables an understanding of aspects directed at Abraham or Sarah individually and aspects directed at Abraham-Sarah as a union. God provides a message through the interaction: that his promise to a husband-wife union could be revealed through the husband or wife but will be fulfilled for them together as a unit.

Abraham understood the message but doubted the promise could be fulfilled for him and Sarah considering their age. He appealed for Ishmael in an apparent attempt to “help” God find a path to fulfillment of the promise [Genesis 17:17–18]: “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’ … ‘Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!’” Then God clarified the promise: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him” [Genesis 17:19]. Thus, God explained to Abraham that the promise is for Abraham-Sarah and will be fulfilled to their descendants through a son of their flesh. He spoke to Abraham to convey a conditional promise for Abraham-Sarah.

Husband-wife and child
Husband-wife and child
theglobalgospel.org freebibleimages.org

It is perhaps easy to understand that the promise of a child to a husband or wife is a promise to the husband-wife union. However, we may need greater consciousness of the message to appreciate its other implications. Whether in regard to wisdom or knowledge, physical possession, child bearing, or any other areas of human need, God’s promise to a husband or wife belongs to the husband-wife union and will be fulfilled to them as an indivisible unit. They need to be functionally together and interact with God as one in order to receive fulfillment of the promise. They could lose the promise if one person should become greedy and seek to claim individual ownership of any part.

We discuss God’s interaction with Abraham as described in Genesis 17 to understand the message of the covenant as it relates to husband-wife interactions and relationships.

The Covenant

Genesis 17 describes an important interaction between God and Abraham, in which God explains his relationship with people as a conditional promise to be God to all that worship and serve him. He describes the covenant in two parts through the interaction. First, he describes his expectation regarding how people relate to him. Second, he describes his promise to those that relate to him in accordance with his expectation. He made the promise to Abraham, descendants of Abraham, and beneficiaries of the Messiah promise as we discuss previously under Motivation for Worship—Choice, not Coercion. Sarah was not mentioned explicitly because she was party with Abraham and God’s promise to Abraham is a promise to Abraham-Sarah as a union.

The Covenant Condition—
What God Expects from People

God describes his expectation of people simply: “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless” [Genesis 17:1]. Essentially, that we should worship and serve him, to fulfill our mandate of representing him among ourselves and the earth and its other living and non-living inhabitants, as we discuss in a previous study under Union of Seamless Complements.

Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount
wikipedia.org

Christ explained in detail the meaning of representing God by living in his image. As we discuss in a previous bible study under Keeping Watch by Living in the Image of God, living in the image of God implies representing God in every human interaction such that your actions and words radiate Godliness and provide opportunities for other people to feel his presence. Furthermore, you fulfill your responsibilities as God’s provider assistant: willingly and gracefully providing service to benefit others when God places a need in your path, or accepting service provided by others with heart-felt appreciation and happiness. A person that lives in the image of God fulfills God’s expectation of “walk before Me and be blameless” and qualifies to receive fulfillment of his promise to be God to those that worship and serve him.

 

God’s Promise—
His Side of The Covenant

God’s side of the covenant is a promise to be God to those that fulfill his expectation of people as described in the foregoing paragraph. The context of the promise conveys a message regarding how God sees husband-wife relationships. He spoke the promise to Abraham, explained the promise applies to his descendants, but did not mention Sarah explicitly. We examine the context to understand that God considered Sarah to be “one with Abraham” such that the promise to Abraham is a promise to Abraham-Sarah union.

Receiving From God
Receiving From God
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

Consider Genesis 17:6— “I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.” Also, in verse 7: “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.” The words “you” and “your” in these verses have to refer to Abraham-Sarah in order to make practical sense. Abraham understood that God’s promise to make him “exceedingly fruitful” was to be fulfilled through him and Sarah but he doubted the promise could be fulfilled because he and Sarah were already well advanced in age [Genesis 17:17]: “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’”

Birth of Isaac
Your wife shall bear you a son
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

Then he prayed God to consider fulfilling the promise through Ishmael. However, God responded by confirming to him and to us that the word “you” in the promise means Abraham-Sarah and “your descendants” in the promise means descendants of Abraham-Sarah union: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him” [Genesis 17:19].

Therefore, through his presentation of the covenant, God conveys an important message to us regarding husband-wife relationships. His promise to a husband-wife union could be revealed through the husband or wife but will be fulfilled to them together as a unit.

Summary of What We Learned

God’s promise to a husband-wife union could be revealed through the husband or wife and will be fulfilled to them as a unit. Because the husband and wife are one, a promise to one is a promise to the two-in-one and will be fulfilled to them together.

We learn this message based on God’s interactions with Abraham to present his covenant with Abraham-Sarah, their descendants, and all humanity. The covenant is God’s conditional promise to be God to all that worship and serve him.

More Information

Please watch this bible study on video at VIDEO_LINK , listen to or download the audio at AUDIO_LINK . You can also download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation from PDF_LINK.

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