15 God also said to Abraham, “Do not continue to call your wife by the name Sarai. Her name will be Sarah. 16 I will give her my blessing. You can be sure that I will give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations. Kings of nations will come from her.” 17 Abraham fell with his face to the ground. He laughed and said to himself, “Can a 100-year-old man have a son? Can Sarah have a child at the age of 90?” 18 Abraham said to God, “I really wish Ishmael could receive your blessing!” 19 Then God said, “Yes, I will bless Ishmael. But your wife Sarah will have a son by you. And you will name him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him. That covenant will last forever. It will be for Isaac and his family after him. 20 I have heard what you said about Ishmael. I will surely bless him. I will make his family very large. He will be the father of 12 rulers. And I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac. By this time next year, Sarah will have a son by you.” 22 When God had finished speaking with Abraham, God left him. 23 On that same day Abraham circumcised his son Ishmael. He also circumcised every male who was born into his family or bought with his money. He did exactly as God had told him. 24 Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised. 25 His son Ishmael was 13. 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that same day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household was circumcised along with him. That included those born into his family or bought from a stranger.
I love the clarity of God’s word to Abraham – and I love the conversation. God is laying something pretty big down on Abraham – continuing to unpack what this everlasting covenant promise really is. I love how Abraham bows down when God speaks, but mutters and laughs under his breath – voicing how incredulous this is to himself.
I get this! It is so easy to hear God speak through His word and then to bow my head in honour of His greatness, but to mutter my disbelief at it happening to me!
I can even believe it for other people – but struggle to accept it for me. When I see Abraham doing it – it helps me realise – it takes faith to accept God’s promises. God promises me so much – and the limiting factor is me – my capacity to accept God at His word.
Thank you God that you are so committed to keeping Your promises to me – that you keep answering my mutterings – you keep talking with me. Lord I hear your voice again today like the father in Mark 9:23-24 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn