Genesis 17:1-18:33 continues the story of God’s covenant with Abraham.
In Genesis 15, God shows his faithfulness by cutting the covenant. This time, God asks Abram to show man’s part of the covenant, through the sign of circumcision.
God also changes Abram’s name (meaning exalted father) to Abraham (father of many nations). Sarai is changed to Sarah – both names mean princess – but she will soon be princess over many nations as well.
Now, get this.
The first time God told Abe that he’d have descendents that would bless the nations, Abram was 75 years old (Genesis 12: 4).
Then God promised descendents through a son – and cut the covenant – when Abraham was 85 years old. Abraham took a shortcut to the promised son and Ishmael was born when Abe was 86. (Genesis 15: 1-6, 16:16)
It’s now 13 years later. Abraham is 99 years old. Sarah’s 90 years old and has stopped menstruating. And still, no child to Abraham and Sarah.
He’s been waiting 24 years for God to fulfill that first promise! (This time, God promises that the son will come within year: 25 years waiting!).
~ No wonder Abraham once more offers Ishmael to fulfill God’s promise (Genesis 17:18).
~ No wonder Sarah laughs when God says she will still have a son (Genesis 18:12-15).
Heck, I would have done the same thing under the circumstances. I’ve had a hard time waiting a few years for some stress in our lives to pass. These guys had to wait 25 years for the son of promise.
I really don’t have a problem with God’s response to Sarah’s laugh: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (18:14a) I believe He can do anything. He’s God!
But this is the part I have to remember.
God continues, “I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (18:14b)
He can do anything. He doesn’t always choose to do what he is able to do.
Today’s reading: Genesis 17:1-18:33, Psalm 5:7-12, Proverbs 2: 9-22, Matthew 7: 1-29