Do you believe that God’s Promises are real? That He can do what He says He can do? It’s so easy, in a world of broken promises, to get a very jaded attitude about this subject. Promises are made and broken with such regularity it’s what we expect to happen. In the story of Abram and Sarai we are given a glimpse into a Promise Kept.
I’m sure you know the story…God told Abram to pick up his family, flocks and possessions and move from Ur to where ever He told him to stop. God’s promise was that Abram’s offspring would number more than the stars in the sky and the sand on the beach. So Abram said sure, I can do that and he began walking. He got side-tracked a bit when they stopped in Haran to visit his father. During the lengthy visit his father died and he remembered what God had promised so off he went again.
Abram and Sarai seemed to like doing things themselves rather than waiting on God. (How much like us is that?) During their journey Abram passed off Sarai as his sister to protect themselves. (BTW she really was his half-sister. It was very common to marry within the family at that time because there weren’t a lot of options.) Sarai got tired of waiting for this promised heir, so she gave Abram Hagar to have a child with. The child was conceived, born and caused no end of envy in Sarai’s heart. Abraham got so tired of her constant nagging that he told her to do whatever she wanted with Hagar. That nearly cost Hagar and Ismael their lives, but God intervened and promised a great heritage to them, also. We are still seeing the impact of Sarai’s misguided decision today–Isaacs descendants are, of course, the Israelites and Ishmail’s are the Arabs…need I say more on that?
Abraham and the Three Angels by J.Tissot
There is another part to this story that tells us Sarai had pretty much given up on the Promise. When the three men came to visit Abram in Shechem (the fulfillment of the land part of the Promise) they told Abram they would visit again in a year and at that time he would have a son. Sarai, who was standing in the tent listening, thought to herself–Yeah! Right! Not gonna happen. I’m to old. Ha! Ha! When asked why she laughed she said I didn’t. The man said, yes, you did! Genesis 18 verses 1 and 2 tell us who these visitors were. Abram addresses Him as LORD (It’s capitalized in every translation I read which means a direct reference to Yahwah!) Sarai’s denial of laughter makes sense when we realize that God was the One who ‘heard’ her.
God followed through and Isaac was born. Not only Isaac but three more sons and two daughters. When Isaac was 37 years old Sarah went to her reward. In her lifetime she learned a very important concept…God keeps His promises.
Heavenly Father, Lord of all, help me realize and recognize Your Promises. I give You thanks for all You’ve given me! I ask that You make me constantly aware of You and Your blessings. I lift this prayer in the Precious Name of Jesus. Make it so!
The story of Abraham and Sarah can be found in the following scripture:
Genesis 11 – 21