Summary: Abraham received God’s promise but saw its fulfilment 25 years later. The long journey and wait saw his faith growing stronger and his understanding of God deepened.
In Gen 12, God made a promise to Abraham, that
• He will give Abraham a land – “the land I will show you” (12:1)
• He will make him into a great nation; He will make his name great
• He will be blessing, and become a blessing to others. The world will be blessed through him.
Here we see the heart of God - He wants to bless us. Jesus, the descendant of Abraham will come through the nation of Israel. His promises hold true. God has not changed. He still want to bless you today.
It’s easy for us to look back and say, God can be trusted. But as we face the challenges of each day, we are literally walking by faith - trusting a faithful God.
For Abraham, the lesson of faith was a journey, literally.
Verse 4 says Abram was 75 years when he left home.
• Gen 21:5 says Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born.
• It was a delay of 25 years from the time God first made the promise.
• In fact, if God would have given him a son right then, it would still be a miracle. Sarah would be 65 years old (cf. Gen 17:18)
But a wait of 25 years is really a long time.
• Yet what God has promised, still comes true!
• God led Abraham from Gen 12-21 - a journey of 25 years before Abraham saw what God has promised becomes a reality.
Abraham grew in faith, and came to know God more. He went through quite a bit - we see that in the next few chapters after Gen 12. Look at what happened after receiving God’s promise –
• 12:10 – there was a famine in the land and he went down to Egypt. He embarassed himself when he lied to Pharoah about Sarai, afraid that they would take her away.
• 13:7 – conflict between his herdsmen and his nephew Lot’s, and they went on separate ways.
• Later in Gen 14 he has to rescue Lot. He fought with the Babylonian kings who took Lot captive, and won the battle.
You see, all these doesn’t help in giving Abram the confidence that he will be given a great land by God, and be blessed with a great nation & great name.
God came to him in a vision and reassure him in 15:1.
• Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that God is blessing you when you’ve to go through so much.
• But God will come to you and reassure you again.
At this point, Abram must have felt discouraged, because when God says in 15:1, “your very great reward” (your reward will be very great), Abram’s response: 15:2-3
• In those days, if a man was childless, there were laws that enabled them to “adopt” one of their servants as son (to make sure the estate did not fall into somebody else’s hands).
• It then declared that if (the master) should have a son of his own, the son would take a double share of the inheritance; the servant would be next in order of inheritance to take his proper share.
• But if the master died childless, the servant became his sole heir.
Abraham believes he needs that kind of a plan… a plan “B” in his life.
• Plan “A” (God’s promise) doesn’t seem to be coming along soon.
• So, he makes plan to have his trusted servant Eliezer be his heir.
The long wait wasn’t easy for Abraham.
• It would not be easy for any of us.
• We’ve got to learn to WAIT for the Lord.
Why the need to wait?
• Interesting we saw many great men and women of God in the Scriptures waited for the Lord.
• We look at Abraham. We see Moses – spent 40 years in the wilderness tending the flock before God called him.
• We see David - Prophet Samuel went to his house, according to God’s instruction, and anointed him to be the future King of Israel. He was then a boy shepherding flock. It was 7 years later that he became King.
We look at the Scriptures, and then we understand.
• The wait was for meant for God. It was meant for us.
• We need the WAIT – to know Him, to deepen our trust in Him, to make us stronger in faith.
Let me share with you this poem, author unknown:
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, “Child, you must wait.”
“Wait? You say, wait!” was my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!”