As Abram walked in the cool of the morning a man appeared before him. Abram stopped.
The man held His hands out. “I am El-Shaddai. Continue to walk before me and live blameless. I will confirm my covenant with you and your numerous descendants.”
Abram bowed to his knees, then stood. “I have done as You’ve said. I’ve come into this land and am yet a stranger here. My 89-year-old wife is barren. When, Oh Lord, will You come through with Your promise?”
The look from El-Shaddai sent Abram to the ground with his face at the feet of God.
“You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram–exalted father–but Abraham–father of many. I will be the God of your descendants and will bless all nations through them. As a sign of this covenant every male in your household shall be circumcised as will every male child on his eighth day of life. As for your wife Sarai she shall now be called Sarah since she will be the mother of many kings and nations.”
Abraham laughed at the thought. His mind wanted so say, “I will be a father with Sarai as the mother of a child.” What came out of his mouth was: “I…hahaha…Sa…hahaha…a ch…hahaha. Why can’t Ishmael live under this blessing?”
Abraham glanced up at the stern face. His face fell back to the ground.
“Sarah will give you a son a year from now. You will name him Isaac because you laughed at the thought of him. As for Ishmael he will be the father of nations also, but the blessing will come through Isaac.”
When Abraham looked back up he was alone. He returned home and immediately circumcised Ishmael, himself, and every male with him.
Three months later as Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent at mid-day he saw three men approaching. He recognized El-Shaddai immediately. He rose to his feet and came to them at the trees of Mamre.
Abraham bowed low. “Please don’t pass your servant by. I’ll bring water to wash your feet. If you will I’ll prepare a meal for you before you go on your way.”
El-Shaddai nodded. “Let it be as you’ve said.”
Abraham ran to the tent and found Sarah. “Quick, make three cakes with your flour. We have company.” He ran out before Sarah could ask any questions.
Sarah shook her head. “The heat must be getting to that old man.” She stepped out of the tent and looked at the three men sitting on a rock under the trees. A chill went up her spine when one of them looked at her and bowed his head in her direction.
After a calf was prepared the three men enjoyed their meal in the shade. El-Shaddai looked at Abraham. “Where is your wife?”
Abraham pointed at the tent. “She’s here in the tent.”
“I’ll return in nine months and see your new son she shall birth to you.”
Sarah was at the tent door eavesdropping on the conversation. The thought of having a child at her age sent a jolt through her body. The thought that went through her head was, “I shall have a child at 90 while Abe is 100…”
What came out of her mouth was, “I sha…hehehe…a ch…hehehe…”
El-Shaddai looked at Abraham. “Why did Sarah just laugh at this promise? Is anything too hard for God?”
Sarah stuck her head around the tent flap. “I didn’t laugh.”
El-Shaddai looked at her. “Yes, you did. In nine months Isaac shall be born to you and Abraham.
A promised son born in a miraculous way. Sound a bit Messianic to anyone else? Abraham and Sarah had totally given up on God coming through for them in the child department of their lives by this time. That’s why Ishmael was on the scene.
Sarah had probably gone through menopause and forgot when her last period was. It’s enough to make any old woman laugh at the thought of having any children. I mean that was water that had passed under her bridge so long ago she stopped watching the water going under it.
But God…let’s pause and let that thought soak in.
But God has His own time-table. His viewpoint comes from an eternal perspective not our linear one. His plans are on His timeline. Don’t try to speed Him up by your feeble attempts at manipulation. God is God, you aren’t.
Sarai’s attempts at giving God an heir to work with only brought about remorse and anger. Her way was not His way. From all outward appearances she was in the right to offer her servant girl to her husband for an offspring to build his legacy on. Her society said it was the only legitimate course of action to take.
You see, society’s ideals aren’t God’s ideals, either. Listen to God by reading His Word, the Bible. He put His truth in there for us to follow. You’ll never go wrong when you follow God’s truth.
That doesn’t mean you can take a verse out of its context and twist it to say what you want it to say to suit your desires. Be very careful when you read the Bible to let it say what it says, not what you want it to say. There’s some tough stuff to read in its pages.
The happiest people I know read the Bible well and live by its standards.
Waiting is another one of those things that few people do well. We want what we want when we want it. Which is usually now. Especially when today’s technology gives us instant access to everything in a few seconds.
Step back and slow down. Let the thought of “But God…” soak into your thoughts.
Give Him the preeminent place in your plans. Pray for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Where have we heard that phrase before?
I’ll see you later. Wade