God controls life (Rom 4:17)

“As it is written.

‘I have made you

The father of many nations.’

This took place

In the presence

Of the God

In whom he believed,

Who gives life

To the dead.

God calls

Into existence

The things that do not exist.”

καθὼς γέγραπται ὅτι Πατέρα πολλῶν ἐθνῶν τέθεικά σε, κατέναντι οὗ ἐπίστευσεν Θεοῦ τοῦ ζωοποιοῦντος τοὺς νεκροὺς καὶ καλοῦντος τὰ μὴ ὄντα ὡς ὄντα·

Paul said that as it is written (καθὼς γέγραπται), “I have made you (τέθεικά σε) the father of many nations (ὅτι Πατέρα πολλῶν ἐθνῶν).”  This took place in the presence (κατέναντι) of the God (Θεοῦ) in whom he believed (οὗ ἐπίστευσεν), who gives life (τοῦ ζωοποιοῦντος) to the dead (τοὺς νεκροὺς). This God Yahweh calls (καὶ καλοῦντος) into existence the things that do not exist (τὰ μὴ ὄντα ὡς ὄντα).  This was based on Genesis, chapter 17:5, that said that Abraham fell on his face.  And God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you.  You shall be the father of a multitude of nations.  No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham.  I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.  I will make you exceedingly fruitful.  I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.  I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.  I will give to you and to your offspring after you, the land where you are now an alien, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting perpetual possession.  I will be their God.”  Abraham fell on his face, and God told him that he would be the father of a multitude of nations.  No longer would his name be Abram, but Abraham “exalted ancestor” or “father of many”.  Throughout generations there will be an everlasting covenant.  Abraham will get the land of Canaan as a perpetual holding.  Paul pointed out that the God of Abraham was a creative God who brought everything into existence.  Abraham was not just a Jewish Patriarch, but he was now the father or ancestor of all people under a creative God.