17:2my covenant. The covenant relationship between God and Abraham includes both promises obligating God to Abraham (vv. 4–8, 16), and commands obligating Abraham and Sarah to God (“As for you,” vv. 9–15). This pattern of mutual obligation is not a relationship of equal parties (as in a human contract), however, for God sovereignly bestows the covenant, gives the grace of faith and obedience to man, and graciously provides the remedy for human disobedience (28:20 note). The history of the covenant in the Old Testament is largely one of human failure fully to obey the covenantal requirements. Nevertheless, the gracious covenant God remains faithful to His promises, even when human beings are faithless (v. 7 note; Lev. 26:44, 45; Deut. 4:30, 31; 2 Tim. 2:13 and note).
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