In our last article, there were two things that were highlighted. First, God created man and woman perfect, but sin was introduced by the Serpent into this world by extending an invitation to the first couple to disobey God. This invitation was received and resulted in a corrupted relationship with the Lord, a relationship the Lord could not accept. Yet, in His mercy and love, He gave man a temporary bridge wherein man could get back to God.
In this article, our attention will focus on Abraham. Abram (as he was called early on) was a man of great faith, but he was a man without a home. He had a home for the first seven decades of his life, but after he traveled with his father away from his original homeland, the Lord called him to go to a land he would be told about later. Abram gathered his possessions and his family and traveled hundreds of miles on foot to arrive at a land now known as Israel (or Palestine) today.
Abram was a man devoted to the Lord, but in his devotion to the Lord he was perplexed about God’s promise to him (Genesis 12:1-3). The Lord reassured him (15:1-6), and Abram trusted in the Lord answer to his perplexity. Sarai, on the other hand, was still perplexed. She knew about the Lord’s promise, but many years had come and gone and, still, no promise fulfillment. She, then, intervened and gave Abram her maid (Hagar) so children could be born, thus fulfilling God’s promise to Abram. She reasoned that if this occurred, she (Sarai) would be the beneficiary of the union between Abram and Hagar.
Sarai presumed on the Lord’s prerogative and His will. Much heartache came to the family because of Abram, Sarai and Hagar. Apart from the heartache, the Lord’s purpose was not thwarted by confused intentions of three people. About 13 years later, the original promise to Abram was brought to completion in the union between Abraham and Sarah. The promised son, Isaac, was God’s message to Abraham and Sarah there is no obstacle in human affairs the Lord can’t overcome if He chooses to do so. Sarah was beyond the normal years of child bearing, but the Lord was not beholden by any physical limitations.
Abraham and Sarah were tested again, but a test unlike any a parent can comprehend (Genesis 22). Yet, a test (trial) it was. Abraham was called by God to take his son of promise and give him to the Lord. Abraham was prepared to do exactly that. The Lord was pleased with Abraham’s response, and reassurance was given to Abraham about the promise from God much earlier in Abram’s life (12:1-3).
It’s likely you know the story reasonably well, but though it is known, what application can we make? Let me offer two applications. First, there is no obstacle known to man the Lord can’t circumvent. This makes sense, I am sure, because as the Creator of the entire material universe, nothing is beyond Him. To Abram and Sarai, the impossible not only became possible, but was realized in experience. Do you have this kind of trust in the Lord?
Second, the Lord does not need (or want) man to help Him. What can man do to help the Lord? Not-one-thing! If this is so (and it is), then it is our duty and it should be our desire to trust in the Lord, obeying His will. Abraham was called on by the Lord to choose between two of his greatest possessions in life – will he give one or the other away. How would you have responded? RT