FATHER OF NATIONS
Abraham, at the age of 75, was told that he would be the father of nations. The Lord personally promised him that he would have many descendants… that they would outnumber the stars in the sky. How would it be possible, since he had yet to receive his own heir? Would a servant in his household bring all of this about? Abraham had many questions but he took God at his Word and stood in faith that his promise would come about and that they would see this MIRACLE happen!
Many years passed and they began to become weary as they waited for this promise to be fulfilled. Sarah, in her own understanding could not see how it would be possible for her to have a baby in her old age. She took God’s promise into her own hands and gave her servant Hagar as a wife to Abraham, so that he could have an heir. Sarah’s plan backfired in her face and her servant began to resent her. Sarah banished her pregnant servant into the wilderness, trying to “get rid” of her faithless plan and act like it never happened.
The Lord had compassion on Hagar and asked her to return to her mistress and serve her. Hagar was so grateful that she named the Lord, “The God who sees Me!” (Gen 16:13). She returned and served willingly.
GIVING UP CONTROL
The story goes on and here is my favorite part. The Lord appeared to Abraham again when he was 99. When Sarah and Abraham came to their senses and realized that taking God’s promise into their own hands didn’t work, the Lord showed up. He didn’t tell them how disappointed he was in them or that now he would choose someone else to fulfill this promise…. NO! He reminded them of the covenant he had made and he even gave them a new identity! He changed their names from Abram to Abraham, and Sarai to Sarah. I love how just when we think we have really blown it… the Lord steps in and says, “My beloved, I am committed to you, I will never leave you or forsake you, and I will still use you and bring my plan to pass!!” Even though Abraham and Sarah’s faith wavered, God didn’t!
God specifically told Abraham that his descendant would come from “her” meaning Sarah. Abraham, wondered why the Lord couldn’t have just accepted Ishmael as his descendant and if Sarah could really have a baby at such an old age. Sarah even laughed at the thought. But they trusted God.
At 100 years old Abraham and Sarah received their promise 25 years after God originally spoke it! They named their son Isaac which means “he will laugh” or “he will rejoice.” Only God could have performed such a beautiful miracle.