Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories.
Today in Sunday school, Gregory learned about God’s covenant with Abram and how God gave Abram lots and lots of descendants in exchange for a little thing called circumcision. This week’s story is loosely based on Genesis 17: 1-27. So please open your bibles to whatever page that is.
God Puts the HA! in Abram
When Abram was 99 years young, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the almighty god, obey me and always do what is right.”
Even though Abram was in the middle of brushing his tooth, he bowed down with his face touching the ground. (In biblical times, 99-year-old’s backs were way more flexible than they are today.)
The Lord had some terrific news for Abram. The Lord had decided to make a covenant with Abram promising that Abram would be the ancestor of many nations.
In biblical days this was the very best possible news imaginable because Numero Uno on everybody’s biblical bucket list was: being the ancestor of many nations— except for Noah’s bucket list which was: invent rain slickers and Eve’s bucket list which was: find out what the apple-pie fuss is all about.
Anyway, the good news didn’t end there! The Lord was also going to give all Abram’s descendants the whole land of Canaan forever, and the best part was that He, the Lord, would be their God! The conversation might have gone something like this:
The Lord: Abram! I’ve got such great news for you. You might want to sit down for it.
Abram: Uh . . .well, I’m already bowing with my face touching the ground, will that work?
The Lord: You, my friend, are going to be an ancestor of many descendants! Aren’t you excited?
Abram: Sweet! Who’s going to be their god?
The Lord: Oh that’s the best part! Moi!
Abram: Woohoo! Can I get up from my bowing position now and maybe go sit on my donkey for awhile — my back’s starting to hurt.
The Lord: I’d rather you stayed bowing.
Abram: Not a problem.
After that the Lord had some lawyers (on loan from Satan’s office) draw up a contract (which in those days was called a covenant) for Abram to agree to. The conversation might have gone something like this:
The Lord: Okay, I’ve got the covenant ready that promises you lots and lots of descendants.
Abram: Great! Where do I sign?
The Lord: Well I wasn’t going to have you sign as such. As you don’t know, I haven’t gotten around to creating the ballpoint pen yet.
Abram: Fine just hand me one of those chisels over there.
The Lord: Well . . . actually, I thought it would be nice instead of signing the covenant with a signature, that you and all your descendants could sign with a circumcision.
Abram: A circum what’n?
The Lord: A circumcision– it’s just a little procedure-y thing. I’ll explain later. Anyway, I thought every baby boy when he is eight days old from now until the end of time could have a circumcision. That way, there would be a physical sign that my covenant with you is everlasting. Thoughts?
Abram: I’m not sure I like the sounds of that . . . .
The Lord: Tell you what. I’ll throw in the letters HA! into the middle of your name. Then instead of people calling you Abram, they will call you Abraham. What do you say?
Abram: Does that include the exclamation point?
The Lord: Ha ha! Tell you what I’m gonna do . . . I’ll also change your wife’s name from Sarai to Sarah. I’ll bless her and give you a son by her, and I’ll name him Issac. Now that’s an offer you’re just not going to see anywhere else!
Abram: Ha ha! Sorry Lord. I can’t help laughing.
The Lord: Why?
Abram: Sarah is 90 years old!
The Lord: Get out! She doesn’t look a day over 80! So what do you say?
Abram: I don’t know. A circumcision is a pretty steep price to pay even for a son.
The Lord: I see what you’re saying, but what if I told you I planned to spell Issac with not one, but two a’s . . .
Abram: Two a’s you say? You drive a hard bargain Lord! It’s a deal!
The Lord: Great! Now get off your knees, jump on your donkey and get yourself over there in the circumcision line.
Abram: Do I have to?
The Lord: Abraham! Don’t make me go Satan’s Lawyers on your ass.
Abram: Okay okay! I’m going I’m going!
And that concludes what Gregory learned in Sunday school this week. Please check back at this same time next week, when the Lord stops by Abraham’s tent unexpectedly — just in time for dinner!
Until next time . . . I love you