From: Heaven on Earth
In Genesis 15 and 17 God reestablishes his covenant with Abram and reiterates his promises, explaining them in greater detail. For instance, God gives the geographical dimensions of the promised land, which Abram’s offspring will inherit.
On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites,” (Genesis 15:18-21).
Two chapters later, God charges Abram, “Walk before me, and be blameless,” (17:1). He then changes Abram’s name to Abraham and adds, “I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you,” (vv. 5-6).
God’s call of Abraham to be the father of multitudes constitutes a third creation story of sorts. Adam and Eve, Noah, and now Abraham were each given a fresh start to produce a new humanity. In a sense, they each become God’s new creation.
Genesis 17 also reveals that God has not given up on the idea of Godly kings who rule in his name. They will come from Abraham’s (and therefore Eve’s) descendants. These “Abrahamic” kings, unlike the kings of the other countries, are to represent God and obey his voice. God goes on to explain that his covenant is not only with Abraham but also with his offspring “throughout their generations,” (v. 7).
Next, God informs Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her,” (17:15-16).
This, then, is God’s plan throughout human history – one that originated in the garden of Eden but got sidetracked – to have all nations, all kings, and all people living in covenant faithfulness to him. These goals will not be fulfilled immediately but will be reached progressively as history moves toward God’s universal reign over Earth through his human representatives.