Summary: When after ninety-something years Abraham and Sarah are sent on the new path of parenthood, they are shocked to begin with. Second thing they do: They start laughing!
- "the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty""
- a clarity we all long for
- face-to-face time with God Almighty is rare nowadays
- it’s not about historic Abram, but God’s love
- scholars agree there is no prove for the existence of a historic Abram
- we know for sure our biblical stories about Abram speak into a specific era in Israel’s history
- the priestly writer during the exile in Babylon: strangers in a strange land
- So how can we know what is God’s Word to us nowadays?
- "I will make my covenant between me and you"
- because his message is loving, leading Abram on a loving path as well
- ninety-nine year old Abram, is told: "I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you."
- As unbelievable as having face-to-face time with God Almighty
- Is this about a miracle? - It might or might not have come true for Abram
- Sure it is not going to happen to ninety-somethings nowadays
- But it teaches about God who gives a blessing to one specific family in one specific time.
- Remember the situation in the Exile - hopeless
- No matter how sad or hopeless our lives might be - our God is so powerful, he can give kids to a ninety-something couple
- God can turn around our worst situations
- God gives Abram and Sarai new names
- signs of a new direction
- Sarai=Sharia becomes Sarah=Princess
- AbRam=Exalted Father becomes AbHamon=Father of many
- Today’s story is not so much about Abraham’s fortune, but about God: "I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you."
- The good news is: We are Abraham’s offspring, we are children of the covenant also.
- We can try and walk away, but ultimately we cannot. We do not have a free will when it comes to leaving God’s covenant with us.
- Repentance is always possible
- We can always return to God’s loving paths
- When after ninety-something years Abraham and Sarah are sent on the new path of parenthood, they are shocked to begin with.
- Second thing they do - and that has been omitted in today’s lecture: They start laughing!
- Genesis 17:17 "Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed"
- Genesis 18:12 "Sarah laughed to herself"
- How funny is our God!
- Abraham and Sarah, those idolized icons of faith, they laugh at God Almighty
- And they have a good reason, because God’s loving paths sometimes are funny
- Psalm 2 knows God is laughing at the kings of the earth: "4He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision."
- Psalm 37 knows "The wicked plot against the righteous, and gnash their teeth at them;13but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that their day is coming."
- In 1 Corinthians 15 the Apostle Paul on behalf of God is mocking death itself: "55“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
- How funny is our God!