Wednesday, February 22, 2017

God Is In the Business of Impossible (Genesis 17:15-19)

God continued speaking to Abraham, ‘And Sarai your wife: Don’t call her Sarai any longer; call her Sarah. I’ll bless her—yes! I’ll give you a son by her! Oh, how I’ll bless her! Nations will come from her; kings of nations will come from her.’ Abraham fell flat on his face. And then he laughed, thinking, ‘Can a hundred-year-old man father a son? And can Sarah, at ninety years, have a baby?’ Recovering, Abraham said to God, ‘Oh, keep Ishmael alive and well before you!’ But God said, ‘That’s not what I mean. Your wife, Sarah, will have a baby, a son. Name him Isaac (Laughter). I’ll establish my covenant with him and his descendants, a covenant that lasts forever’
(Genesis 17:15-19, The Message)

Sarai was 90 year-old when God gave her a fresh start. No longer would she be known by the old Babylonian name she had been born with. From Genesis 17 onward, she would be called “Sarah” – Princess – and she, like her husband (Abram, previously renamed as Abraham), would be the mother of nations. Name is so important. It represent who we are, our origin. Good name is crucial for a new identity. Abraham and Sarah’s names are God’s prophesy of what they would become.

I’m thinking of Abraham… how his faith were stretched… he had been called upon to believe some wild things (Up-In-The-Sky-Kind-of-Promises!) over the previous 30 years. But the thought of his 90 year-old wife would “give you a son” was too much. Too impossible for him – and probably too stress – that he laughed! Abraham being Abraham, he gave God a suggestion, a solution: “Oh, keep Ishmael alive and well before you!” What he meant was, “Lord, why couldn’t Ismael, be the son of the promise? Let him be!” Perhaps Abraham truly love Ishmael. Perhaps Abraham sick of waiting. Perhaps he felt bad for the boy Ishmael, son with the servant woman Hagar. Illegitimate or not, he was till Abram’s flesh and blood.

Let me reason for Abraham… Hey, Ishmael, his son, was already there. Why wait? I think it is quite awesome if God were to make a great nation out of Ishmael (in fact, God does it). But to imagine an as-yet-unborn son of a 90 year-old woman? To me and Abraham… that was impossible to imagine...

About two thousand years later, God did the same impossible promise. Elderly Elizabeth who were barren bore a son, John the Baptist and Mary, a virgin, bore child Jesus the Messiah (read Luke 1 and 2). Both were impossible cases, but as Gabriel, the archangel said, “Nothing, you see, is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37, Msg). God had His own plans, His plans will come to past. He is in the business of impossible. “That’s not what I mean,” God insisted, “Your wife, Sarah, will have a baby, a son.” God was doing something utterly new to Abraham. In the end, Sarah gave birth to a son named Isaac (read Genesis 21).

When God plans to do something, something great
Hold fast to His promises, He keep His promises,
Remember: “Nothing, you see, is impossible with God

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