Here, just shy of Abram 100th birthday, Yahweh appears to Abram. There are some that say this is an example of a contradiction in the Bible. They refer to Exodus 33:20 and John 1:18, where it says that nobody can see the face of God. However, look at the wording. It doesn't say that Abram looked at God's face. It says that God appeared to him. Since Abram didn't die, we can assume that God appeared to him, the same way that he appeared to Moses, in a way that represented God.
Also, this is the first time that God uses the name, El Shaddai, God Almighty. If you remember, there is a law of first mention, within the Jewish community. It states that the first time something shows up, it's very important to take notice. This time, I do believe that it's due to a dual reference. Abram is about to get a name change and also, his descendants do not only include the Jews, but also the Christians, encompassing all true believers.
And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
Right off the bat, Abram recognizes something significant is about to occur. He falls to his face out of respect and reverence.
If you remember correctly, back in chapter 15, Abram saw God in a vision and God made a unilateral agreement with him. That agreement was based on the Faithfulness of God and it was never ending. This agreement is a Bilateral agreement and is based on the faithfulness of generations to come. In these verses, God begins to tell Abram the first part of the deal.
God promises to make Abram a father of many nations, not just Israel. As part of this agreement, Abram gets a name change. God adds the Hebrew letter, HEY, to his name, making it, Abraham. The name, Abraham means, The Father of Many Nations. The letter, HEY, is significant, in that it means It means that the Breath of God and God's Spirit will dwell in him and his faithful descendants.
Also, this is proclaiming that the Word of God, The Mashiach Nagai, The Messiah, The Seed of The Woman, that will crush Satan's head, will come forth, through the descendants of Abraham.
We'll go over the rest of the agreement, next time. In most agreements, it's all about the details.