9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:9-14
Up until now, God had been promising Abram, now Abraham, a multitude of descendants. This time, however, He required something from Abraham and his male descendants: ritual circumcision of 8-day-old babies. It is a ritual practiced to this day among the Jewish people.
This requirement hints of King David’s proclamation to Araunah when buying a threshing floor, “Nay; but I will surely buy it from thee at a price; neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
Building a large nation of people would cost Abraham something. Abraham was willing to pay that price for the sake of his people and his namesake.
Doing anything meaningful in life costs us something, whether it’s time, money, or attention. We don’t always see immediate rewards from what we do, but we act on faith that God will actually take care of those seeds that were planted or watered.
The bottom line to this is don’t be bashful about spending your time and attention on things that truly matter. Your efforts are not in vain.