Recap of Part 9: God gives Abram a new name, Abraham, and a covenant relationship. This covenant is sealed with a sign or token, circumcision. The bible tells us: “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness” (Genesis 17:19-22). We also spoke about doubt that can happen within our minds. The remedy for doubt is faith, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). God gave us the Bible as a testimony of His works in the past, so we will have a reason to trust Him in the present.
Abraham has faith in God’s word and anticipates the promise of a son. He first tries to do it his own way, by impregnating his wife’s servant Hagar. “Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife” (Genesis 16:1-3). “And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael” (vs. 15).
Was this the right thing to do? Make an arrangement to complete God’s plan without him. Isn’t that what Sarah and Abraham did? Because she was unable to bear children. How many of us do the same? Try to do things our own way, without the hand of God in our lives? The promise was to show the power of God and how he alone could make the impossible possible. A man of 100 years of age and a woman 90 years of age, who had already been through menopause, would have a child. “Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women” (Genesis 18:11). Menopause is the time of life when a woman no longer has eggs to be fertilized and menstruation ceases. This is an important miracle of God to pay attention to. The woman who no longer had an egg, produced a son. Isaac indeed was the child of promise. You know what happens next, God tempts Abraham to see his faith. “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (Genesis 22:1-2). Through obedience we see Abraham do as commanded. He prepared wood for the offering, brought 2 servants and his son to the place God had commanded. On the third day he instructed the servants to remain were they were, “and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you” (vs. 5). He took the wood of the offering and placed it upon his son and they went to the place commanded. Along the way, Isaac asks his father, “where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (vs. 8). He next goes to slay his son, but is stopped by an angel who tells him not to harm the child and “now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” (vs. 12). “And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (vs. 15-18). Obedience does pay off. Following the commands of the Lord is what will allow for your salvation, redemption, justification, anointing, how you become a child of God, and gain an inheritance as a fellow heir in Christ. “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:17). Make sure you constantly align yourselves with God’s plan and refrain from doing your own will.