“If you despair in knowing you do not have Abram’s faith, take comfort in knowing you have Abram’s God. He can build in you the faith of Abram, because He built it in Abram himself.” -David Guzik
Probably all of us are at least somewhat familiar with the story of Abraham, and remember his frequent title as the “father of faith” and remember his acts of faith being credited to him as righteousness, such as tithing to Melchizedek and taking his son up on the mountain as an offering to God.
Do you remember what God promised Abraham in Genesis 15:4? God said “this man will not be your heir, but one who will come forth out of your own body shall be your heir”. God promised him offspring, and not only that but that his descendents would be as numerous as the stars in the sky (Gen 15:5).
But somewhere in that I see a lacking in faith. He could have had faith that God would bless his wife Sarah with child, but when they just weren’t…ahem…making any babies, successfully…Sarah doesn’t have the faith (at that point) that God is going to give them a child within God’s design for a man and a woman, and tells her husband to sleep with her servant and get her pregnant. And the result of that whole fiasco was Islam (Ishmael), and a blessing by God to multiply his descendants to be “too many to count”. And when God says no, he’s going to establish his covenant with a son of Sarah, not Ishmael, (Gen 17:19) they have some disbelief in their heart. “Abraham fell on his face and laughed.” In his heart he said, ‘Will a child be born to a man 100 years old. And will Sarah who is 90 bear a child?” (Gen 17:17)
Sometimes God’s promises seem crazy, they seem impossible. Everyone knows nobody who’s 90 years old can get pregnant. That’s just crazy. But sometimes God promises us things that seem crazy too.
But I challenge you: What has God promised you that you aren’t taking him seriously about?
Its so easy to have that doubt, even the “father of faith” doubted God’s promises. Has God spoken something into your life, but you just laugh and say “that’s never going to happen” and start plotting in your own fleshly way how to “make God’s promise” a reality…but not quite in the way God intended? When really, God was just saying, hold on just a little longer in faith that I do come through on my promises?….God wants to bless you with things he’s already promised you.
Are you waiting in eager expectation for the blessing God has individually promised you? I challenge you to take God at his word that he is faithful, no matter what circumstances may lead you to believe. God is greater than our circumstances. And he has some huge blessings he wants to do in your life.
(Its interesting to note also that despite Abraham’s doubts that God could give him a child, he still was obedient to what God told him to do, and had his entire family circumcised, even at his old age. There are further implications you can draw from this…)
I was listening to one of Mike Macintosh’s old sermons and he took this long detour through talking about Joseph going to Egypt with his wife Sarai. It was interesting to listen to a “different perspective” than the one I got from hearing Miles sermon on it–it just had a different emphasis. Mike pointed out (which apparently this never hit me before) that when Abraham is saying his wife is all hot and the king’s going to want her, you’re talking about a 60 or 70 year old lady being called such an attractive babe that the king’s gonna want to meet her. Wow. Flattering yes, but something about putting it that way makes it almost seem like an unfounded fear of what might happen. The rest of it was interesting too, emphasizing the duties of a christian husband as a model of Christ, and how Abraham was just not living up to that and not encouraging his wife’s faith (eg. they’re both laughing at god’s promises) like his asking his wife to lie to protect his back rather than what he should have been doing, warning her and opening up some honest conversation and encouraging her to be strong against temptation such as the king or whoever else