God kind of faith 7
By Ivan Ho 18 Dec 2019
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God , what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the Lord , and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
The mistakes of Abraham
In our journey of faith, we almost always have to face the choice between the flesh and the spirit ie the choice between Ishmael the son of bondage and Issac the son of promise. Abraham initially thought that Eliezer of Damascus was the heir when he did not see God act on his behalf (You have given me no offspring). He would later give birth to Ishmael with Hagar, his son born in the flesh. Twice Abraham messed up when he misinterpreted God’s promise and made his own decisions outside of God’s plan A. Twice he thought it was God when it was not.
This was how Abraham messed up after receiving God’s promise that he would become father of many nations. (Genesis 12:1-3 ) Abraham was 75 when God first gave him the word and after many years later, he was still without a child. So he thought: God must be speaking about someone who was born in his household to be the heir of the promise. So he reasoned that Eliezer of Damascus, when he was born in his house, had to be the one God spoke about. When years of waiting for God’s promise isn’t forthcoming, this is how our natural thinking would, if we are not careful, begin to kick in and we would try to interpret God’s word according to the natural circumstances around us. God had to correct Abraham and said to him: “No, this isn’t the one. Your heir will come from your own body.” So God realigned his thinking the first time.
Then years later, Abraham was approaching 100 and his wife Sarah, being 90 years old, was still barren. Sarah thought: “If the promised son was to come, he has to come from my husband’s seed with another woman, as there is no way on earth that I can still give birth at 90!” With that flawed thinking, she proposed her husband to lie with her maid Hagar who gave birth to Ishmael. Abraham must have been thinking: ” If the child will come from my own body and it would be impossible for my wife to give birth, he has to come from the womb of another woman. I’d better listen to my wife and do as she suggested.” (Genesis 16:1-2)
So after the first blunder, Abraham made a further mistake and tried to look for plan C which was even more problematic than plan B!
Despite all his mistakes, God did not give up on Abraham and spoke to him again about His covenant. Not only that, God clarified His word and told Abraham who the promised son would be. For the first time since God made His promise many years ago, God mentioned the name Issac, and revealed to Abraham that Issac would be the promised son.
Wait on God who is faithful to His word
Thank God, despite our human errors and efforts to try to help God make things happen by reinventing God’s original word, God is still faithful and committed to bring to past His promise to us. Our past mistakes will not cancel God’s promise to us because our God is faithful to His word.
It is when things are not happening according to our time frame that we tend to act outside of God and then ask Him to bless our decisions made in the flesh. Impatience to wait on God’s perfect timing is what leads many people to compromise the promise of God.
After Abraham received correction from the Lord, he believed in His word, and He accounted to him for righteousness. When things do not seem to be happening, don’t fret and jump ahead of God’s preappointed time. If God is not in it, whatever we do are bound to fail, and God has not redeemed us to see us fail! Have faith and wait on God to fulfill His promise for your life.
Against all odds, Issac the promised son was born to Abraham and Sarah, and through the lineage of Issac, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour was born!