Genesis 17:15-27

Talks for Growing Christians

God’s Specific Promise that Sarah Would Bear a Son

Genesis 17:15-27

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Lesson Number 37

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. With God, all things are possible.
  2. The Abrahamic covenant is made with Israel, but its blessings are not limited to Israel.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t delay to obey.


  1. Why was Sarai’s name changed and to what was it changed?
  2. What was the spiritual parallel of the sign of the covenant?
  3. Did circumcision save Abraham?
  4. What is the truth illustrated in Genesis 17 and in Mark 10:27?
  5. Was Abraham weak in faith when he laughed at God’s promise to give him descendants as numerous as the stars? (Genesis 17:17) Remember, he was an old man and Sarah was beyond normal child-bearing years.
  6. Look at doctrinal point #2. What blessings belong to the Jewish people? What blessings belong to others?


  1. Sarai was changed to Sarah. The meaning of both are basically the same, “princess.” Perhaps it was changed to emphasize to Sarah that she really was a princess at this point and would have royal blood coming from her. She would be a mother of nations and kings would come from her.
  2. Although circumcision, the sign of the covenant, was a physical operation, it implied that there was to be a circumcision of the heart. Note Deuteronomy 30:6 and Romans 2:28-29. Circumcision of the heart means obedience.
  3. No. Abraham was saved by faith. See Romans 4:2-3 and 9-11.
  4. With God, all things are possible.
  5. No, Abraham was not weak in faith. See Romans 4:19-21. Perhaps Abraham’s laugh was an “it’s-too-good-to-be-true” type of laugh.
  6. God will one day give the Jews all the land promised to them when they return to the Lord and recognize Him as their Messiah. As for others, see Isaiah 19:24-25. In “that day,” when the Lord returns, Egypt will be blessed as well. And the blessings are for believers through the ages. See Romans 4:16, 23-25.


  1. Circumcision had nothing to do with Abraham’s salvation. Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. What does this mean in our lives today? How are we saved?
  2. With God, all things are possible. Abraham and Sarah were beyond child-bearing years, but God gave strength to have Isaac, the promised son. Are there things in your life that you think are impossible? With God, all things are possible. What dreams do you have for His glory?


  1. The sign of the covenant was painful for Abraham to carry out, but he did not delay to obey. Have you delayed to obey the Lord in any area of your life? Don’t delay to obey.

Key Verses

  • “Abraham laughed.” Genesis 17:17
  • You shall call your son’s name Isaac. I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant.” Genesis 17:19
  • “Abraham did as God said to him...the very same day.” Genesis 17:23, 26

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