Monday, July 11, 2016

Genesis 18:1-10a Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?

Genesis 18:9-10a They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "She is in the tent." The Lord said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son." 

The Lord appeared to Abraham with two angels in a pre-incarnational appearance. That God himself could take on humanity tells us that God is not totally unlike his creation but that His creation is very much an extension of His divine nature. Like a child who reflects his parent’s characteristics (physical likeness), so God is not totally unlike us for God created us “in his image” which would have included our humanity. That God can take on the form of human appearances (see also Joshua 5:13-15) should therefore not surprise us, for one day we shall be like Him in glory—in our new glorified humanity. In his resurrection and ascension, Jesus did not shed off his new humanity but went up to His Father with it.

However, what is more important is the Lord’s message to Abraham: “Sarah your wife shall have a son” (v.10a). At a 100 years old and Sarah at 90 years old, Abraham would have found this promise incredible. Firstly, he had already waited 25 years since God first made his promise in Genesis 12:2 that "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” At that time, Abraham was childless. In the 25 years since, nothing had happened and Sarah had even offered her maid Hagar to Abraham as his second wife to resolve the dilemma.  

Now 25 years hence, Abraham was told that Sarah would have a son. She was already way beyond her menopause (no wonder she laughed when she overheard the conversation). But as it turned out, Sarah conceived and gave birth to Isaac one year later. 

The important lesson for us today is that God is faithful: when He makes us a promise, he will bring it to pass—no matter how long it takes. Perhaps, God has waited for 25 years to test Abraham’s faith and also to show that apart from Him, this miracle of a son in Abraham’s old age would not be possible. And so when Sarah conceived Isaac, the impossible became possible. With God, nothing is impossible. As Oral Roberts once said, "Faith is believing God for something, that if He is not in it, it will fail."

Perhaps some of us may have heard from God a similar promise – and the fulfillment seems to be long in coming. We should not doubt but continue to believe God in the meantime. He will fulfill His promise in His own time. I remember for myself when I first felt a call of God to go for theological education, it took another 5 years before God orchestrated for it to happen. 

Let’s be patient before the Lord: wait on the Lord and He will fulfill his promise. The Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (v.13-14).

Father, I thank You that nothing is too hard for You once You have made a promise to do it. Grant us patience to wait upon You. Amen.

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