Genesis 17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
It’s 24 Years after God initially gave this promise to Abram and God is reiterating the promise and further clarifying it. Yet notice that God has done almost NOTHING for His promise thus far. Just noting that 😉 Yet Abram still trusts God and we see this experience:
3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.
So God has done nothing (in our eyes) to provide for Abram. Abram and his nephew went to this new land and have been like sojourners. They’ve lived in tents, been reprimanded for doing things incorrectly… Yet God here says “I have made you a father of many nations. God is speaking as though what He has said He would do is already done even though it hadn’t been manifested on Earth for Abram. This is NOT how we view Gods promises. Yet this is the way God makes it clear we should be thinking. If God is El HANE EMAN the Faithful God then He doesn’t have to have carried out that action yet. If God has promised it then it is the same as it having been done already! Let’s keep reading:
6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your Godand the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring.13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
What and odd situation: Abram, now Abraham, clearly has no idea the overall plan, or what is happening lol. He shows that he doesn’t foresee what God is doing, nor does he have full trust that God is going to do things the way that he is hearing them. Yet here he is having left his home and everything! It is ok to not know what God is doing and yet still trust His direction. We read later in Scripture that Abram had faith in God!! Just like we spoke about Sunday and yesterday, human logic would dictate that Abraham should be heavily apprehensive, or very skeptical of God at this point. Human wisdom, proof being required before trust, doesn’t work. Human wisdom doesn’t work, it dictates a WISE man stop lending ear to someone who has not fulfilled their initial promise ESPECIALLY with this much time lapsing. Yet God’s logic is that He will speak even more change into the scenario, because His Promise is sufficient. A situation in which humans have still not seen ample evidence to support the initial changes, can still be fully legitimate. Abraham laughs, and even points out that he is still thinking they are on the path of Ishmael being the chosen one. God continues as though the impossibilities, the “logical insufficiencies” are not even there. Sarah is old, so is Abraham… yet that logic doesn’t stand in the way of God. If Abraham went off of his logic and reasoning he wouldn’t be trusting God’s plan. God continues:
19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.”22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.
Wow… that’s an act of trust. Though human logic will sometimes grant some guidance through scenarios we clearly see it is not the driving force in this relationship. If Abraham were being logical his relationship with God would have been stunted. He could have still had a relationship with Him but he wouldn’t have left to come to Canaan. If he had he for sure wouldn’t have circumcised himself and others based upon a promise by God who hasn’t fulfilled anything (in Abrahams eyes). I mean… circumcision is not an adult experience I’d be stoked about. I dunno about you but my brain would be shouting NO pretty LOUDLY if someone who hadn’t come through told me to circumcise myself. Faith requires trusting even when our flesh (which constantly lies) tells us circumstances are different. If Abraham and Sarah’s logic dictated their circumstantial decisions they would not have followed God, because they didn’t know the whole story.
Just like how those who were drowned mocked Noah before the flood: this won’t happen… The world will criticize us for waiting on “someone” who takes forever and likely won’t come since He hasn’t yet…
2 Peter 3:9Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
God, when everything seems to cry out “STOP TRUSTING HIM” help me to remember my flesh actively wars against You. Help me to be faithful, and humble, even in the face of logical tension. Provide in me a heart that is willing to listen even when my mind says otherwise.
It will be useful for you to remind someone you know who is struggling to trust God in the waiting these things: God’s plans can often look super slow, and not proper in our eyes. The fact that He is going to let the world self implode via their destructive thoughts and hearts doesn’t seem logical. Remind them that God is still on the throne and in charge even when their process looks like He has withdrawn. They must always be evaluating their actions and direction through the Word to assure obedience, but not against the world and its standards. Don’t just spit out these truths though, you HAVE a to show them it in Scripture. Remind them about these stories and Gods character in them.