While reading in Genesis 15-17 this morning there were a couple of themes that caught my attention. One of them is patience.
As I considered all that happened to Abram since I was first introduced to him in chapter 12, it’s difficult to not acknowledge just how much patience was required of him. By the time chapter 15 hits, you get the sense that Abram was perhaps starting to get a little weary. Based on all of the external indications, it wasn’t looking too probable that the Lord’s promise was going to come true.
And so, the omniscient, faithful, sovereign God who made the promises shows up to reinforce them and through His presence and word, encourages Abram enough to persevere and continue believing and trusting.
Sometimes, in the midst of life’s circumstances, we can start to feel weary and maybe even begin to lose hope. We intellectually believe in God and His promises but we’re having a hard time getting our heart to fall in line and actually feel that way.
It is in these times that we need to allow God to speak and remind us of who He is and why we should trust Him. We need to make ourselves available to be encouraged and instructed by His word.We need to humble ourselves in prayer and confess our unbelief. We need to come into the presence of the Holy One and allow Him to be the lifter of our heads that we might realign our gaze from the things of this world and onto things above. That we might fix our eyes on Jesus and be encouraged to continue running the race with perseverance.
The other thing I noticed was in chapter 16 when Sarai said,
“Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.”
Again, the promise to Abram was that he would be the father of many and so far, at 99-years of age, he doesn’t have any children and he’s married to a woman who is barren. But the interesting thing that stood out to me here is that Sarai actually acknowledges the reason she is barren is because the LORD has prevented her from bearing children. She sees His hand in it and yet, she attempts to circumvent the LORD’s will by encouraging Abram to take her maidservant as his own. Of course, you don’t have to read much farther to see that the result of her plan is an absolute mess.
We would do well to trust in the Lord, to take Him at His word, to respect His sovereignty, to honor His will, and to accept His timing. For His glory alone.