Summary: God is in the business of keeping promises, even those which we cannot possibly understand how he will do so
The Promise of God
This morning’s OT lesson is about an unlikely promise for Abraham and Sarah
The promise of a son - when both were in their 90’s -just didn’t add up.
Yet one year later, we see the birth of ISAAC to Sarah and Abraham. In human terms – it was impossible
But when God promises something the miraculous can happen.
Why did they have to wait so long. I think it is because faith isn’t grown overnight. It is grown only by perseverance.
It was a miracle – and the history of the world was changed by what God did with this elderly couple
Sarah and Abraham were too old to have children. Both were over 90.
But both of them had been learning to live by faith.
Many years earlier, God had called them to leave Ur of the Chaldees and come to the Promised Land 1000 miles away
Ur was very sophisticated – it had running water in the toilets and Israel at that time was a backwoods. They didn’t even have running water in the toilets!!.
Abraham and Sarah have been learning over the years step by step to grow in faith.
It has been 24 years since God first promised these OLD AGE PENSIONERS A SON OF THEIR OWN
The 24 years had had a purifying effect on both Sarah and Abraham
They were learning to trusted God – but still could only trust as far as they could understand
When the three strangers came to the tent and predicted Sarah would have a baby, Sarah couldn’t help laughing.
Was it the laugh of “You must be joking” or Was it the nervous laugh of someone covering up a real and lasting hurt?
Sarah knew of God’s promise 24 years earlier.
She had tried to give God a helping hand – when she tried to have a surrogate son through her servant girl Hagar – and Ishmael was born.
And after all these years, here is someone bringing up the hurt again.
In those days it was a real stigma for a woman not to have a son. Because people thought that barrennnes was a curse from God.
Yet now these three strangers – God’s messengers come and prophesy that one year later a child would be born to them
And Isaac is born
With God it is NEVER too late.
If God make a promise HE KEEPS IT
Moses was eighty years old, when God called him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Samuel was a child when God called him to be the Prophet of God in Israel.
With God – AGE is no barrier
I read a very interesting story recently that I’d like to share with you
Story: THE REAL MCCOY
It was about a seventy-two-year-old Baptist preacher names Charles McCoy.
McCoy was pastoring a Baptist church in Oyster Bay, New York, when at age seventy-two he was told by his denomination to retire.
A lifelong bachelor, he had cared for his mother for as long as she lived.
In his spare time he had earned seven university degrees, including two Ph.D.’s.
But now, at age seventy-two, he was being forced to retire from the ministry.
He was depressed.
“I just lay on my bed thinking that my life’s over, and I haven’t really done anything yet.
I’ve been pastor of this church for so many years and nobody really wants me much—what have I done for Christ?
I’ve spent an awful lot of time working for degrees, but what does that count for?
I haven’t won very many to the Lord.”
A week later he met a Christian pastor from India, and on impulse asked him to preach in his church.
After the service, the Indian pastor asked him to return the favour.
Since he had preached for McCoy, would McCoy come to India and preach for him?
McCoy told him that he was going to have to retire and move to a home for the elderly down in Florida.
But the Indian pastor insisted, telling McCoy that where he came from, people respected a man when his hair turns white. Would he come?
McCoy thought and prayed about it and decided he would.
The members of his church were horrified.
Dire predictions were made.
The young chairman of his board of deacons summed up the attitude of the congregation when he asked, “What if you die in India?”
McCoy’s answer was classic. He told him “it’s just as close to heaven from there -as it is from here.”
McCoy sold most of his belongings, put what was left in a trunk, and booked a one-way passage to India—his first trip ever outside the United States!
When he arrived in Bombay, he discovered to his horror that his trunk was lost.