God Never Fails to Keep His Word

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God Never Fails to Keep His Word

Genesis 21:1-34

Many years of disappointment had followed the lives of Abraham and Sarah.  The time had long gone when they expected to be able to have children.  They were simply going on, in at least this part of their lives, based on faith.  The substance of their hope was their confidence that God would do what he had promised that he would do. 

Both Abraham and Sarah had at different times laughed at the thought of having a child, the baby was named Isaac, which means laughter.  Think of the joy they had when Isaac was born.  Think of the strength they had when they realized that their confidence in God was justified.  What kind of lessons can we see from this event in the lives of Abraham and Sarah?

God often sends the greatest joy during the darkest hour.  We will always have pessimists with us.  Take the year 1809, proclaimed by historians as the darkest time in the history of mankind.  Napoleon was devastating Europe.  Freedom and social progress seemed to be doomed.  Then we take a look at some of the babies that were born that very year; Abraham Lincoln; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; Edgar Allen Poe; Oliver Wendell Holmes; Cyrus Hall McCormick; just to name a few.  The year, even though the devastation taking place was horrible, was not a total loss.

Things had been looking dark for Abraham and Sarah, but Isaac changed all that.  Sarah was amazed by what happened.  She and Abraham no doubt spent many nights during her pregnancy wondering what the birth would be like, what she would go through, or if she would even get through the birth.  Fear had to have been at least a small part of their daily life.  Now they had a miraculous event that had to be celebrated with great joy.

Abraham shows us the sober and thoughtful joy that most fathers show.  We guys are often afraid to let our emotions out.  We try to keep them to ourselves.  That is what Abraham was doing, but you know that deep down inside, he had to be turning cartwheels.  Maybe he couldn’t do them physically, but you know that his spirit was jumping for joy.

Sarah, though, was unable to keep her emotions in.  Her feelings were too great for words and once again, she had to laugh.  She knew that everyone that they knew had to be as happy for her as she was.

Sarah’s greatest triumph, though, was the fact that she showed faith in a Creator who was able to carry out his promises.  She had hope and trust in God who she did not believe would fail her.  This is the same type of hope and trust that every great and effective child of God has had through the centuries.  Our faith exists not because we understand things completely, but because we trust the Revealer of these things implicitly.

Even the best faith falters from time to time.  Sarah still had hard feelings against Hagar and Ishmael.  One day she was pushed to her breaking point.  To borrow a phrase from Popeye, “She had all she could stand, cause she couldn’t stand no more.” She ran Hagar and Ishmael off once again.  This time God did not intervene and send Hagar back this time, so maybe it was time that they split their company.  This shows us that no matter how strong our faith is one day, just down the line we will face tough decisions that we need to rely on God to help us with.

God had the entire world in mind in the birth of Isaac.  When Hagar and Ishmael seemed to be at their lowest, God took care of them.  He not only saved their lives, but also promised that he would be the father of a great nation.  Though God blessed Abraham in a significant way, he did not forget Hagar and Ishmael.

News of the good graces that God had bestowed on Abraham reached as far as Abimelech, and he decided it was time to make peace.  We can see a great lesson here.  When we conduct ourselves properly and receive God’s approval and blessing, the non-religious world wants us to be their ally.  Abimelech did not recognize everything involved in Abraham’s life and did not understand all that Abraham had received from God, but he seemed to be aware that Abraham was doing something right and it was paying off for him in a number of ways.  He reminded Abraham of showing him kindness and asked for Abraham to show him kindness in return.  After some discussion and negotiating, they agreed on terms and planted a tree.

God’s redemptive program was starting to take shape.  The heir had been born and the competition had been removed.  The neighbors recognized the place of Abraham in the land, and he bore witness to the unique God that he served.  The God that would one day send the redeemer to the world.  Nothing can stop God’s progress.  Wise people find out where God is going and align themselves with him.

The God we serve never fails.  He has no credibility gap.  We can trust ourselves and all that we have to him.  God will not fail.  In fact, he will never even disappoint.

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