The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. … (v1-3) Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.” (v10-15) (Genesis 18 1-15)
Sarah’s first reaction to God’s promise of a son was laughter. The thought of becoming parents after so many years may not have crossed their minds in recent times, but God was getting ready to what seemed impossible. Sometimes what God tells us to do may seem absurd, but as believers, we know that He will lead us through what He leads us to. Noah’s ark-building story may have seemed equally absurd to those around Him, but when the promised flood came, those who had laughed likely realized Noah had been doing the right thing all along. (Genesis 6-9). Know that some will laugh at the promise God gives you. Let then laugh as much as they desire but your focus should remain on God.
God gave Abraham a promise. Sara laughed. Later on, Sara encouraged Abraham to sleep with Hagar so he could be a father. God does not contradict Himself. He does not change His standards to meet our needs. If He gives us a promise, He will equip us with what we need to fulfil it. There is no need to step outside His will in our attempt to do what we think He wants. If we need to walk in disobedience, we may need to check whether we are truly doing what He intended for us to do.
In following through on Sarah’s suggestion, Abraham deviated from God’s plan, but God still kept His promise! What we do, or not do, does not change the fact that God is faithful and that He will do what He says. The promise may seem long in coming, but if He has given it, then He must deliver on it.
God will meet you at the point of your needs, just as He showed up near Abraham’s tent and gave him a personal message. Perhaps the thought of being a father was not at the front of Abraham’s mind in that moment, but God gave Him a promise anyway. Sometimes the breakthrough comes when we least expect it, the key is to be ready for the moment. David was sent to deliver lunch (1 Sam 17:17), but God used him to deliver the blow that took Goliath out of the picture. What are you committed to doing while you wait for His timing?
Inventory/Introspection: What ‘ridiculous’ promise are you believing God for?
Personal application: Make a list of all the Promises He has fulfilled and thank Him for them. Make a list of the ones yet to be fulfilled and offer thanksgiving as well. Thank Him too for the grace He gives to endure the waiting … He will deliver what He has promised.
Father, We are so thankful that You keep Your words! You are faithful and Your mercies are everlasting! Great and mighty are You, Lord!
Sometimes the answers seem long in coming, but help us to trust that Your words are solid, and that You will come through, regardless. Help us to stand on Your word in the face of doubt, and help us to wait in You instead of trying to get by on our own logic.
We choose to wait on Your word, and Your perfect timing. We resolve to let our hearts be focused on You, and not to be deterred by what is around us. May you find us ready, willing and waiting when you pass by our tents.
Be glorified in all we do.
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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