You Gotta Be Kidding Me?
“Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him…” Genesis 17:18+19 ESV
After a long wait, Abram finally got his son. It took Sarai’s servant girl, Hagar, to give him this son. Abram finally had his heir. After all, the first born son was the recognized heir of a man in that culture. So when God said, ‘I want to make a covenant with you,’ Abram naturally thought God would work within the commonly accepted ways of the world. God would bless Abram’s first born with the covenant blessing. Right?
God chose a different path. He chose to bless the second son, Isaac, who would come “miraculously” to Sarai. Abram thought God was joking. How could a woman over 90 bear a child? He laughed at God. But God demonstrated that He would work in His ways, not Abram’s. After his initial response, Abram believed God. So much so, that he was willing to sacrifice that son, years later (foreshadowing the ultimate sacrifice Christ would one day offer up for us). And God credited (now Abraham) his faith as righteousness.
It was through the lineage of Isaac that another covenant would be established. Hundreds of years later, Christ our king was born in a lowly manger to very common parents via miraculous circumstances. God moves in His own time and with His own purposes in ways which are sometimes foreign to this world.
Like Abraham, we are Called to have faith that God’s ways are holy and just. We cannot always understand them. Why would a young father die of cancer and leave a wife and three children? How can our students sit through a religion lesson and twenty minutes later commit the sins they do? Why would a hurricane destroy a Lutheran school where God’s Word is being taught to young children?
Faith in Christ’s death and resurrection is the answer and hope for our crazy, sin filled world. Not so that life goes easier on us or that sin won’t have an effect on our lives.
Rather, faith carries us during those times of unknowns and uncertainties. God has solved the dilemma of sin and eternal life. May His Holy Spirit build faith that God sustain you every day of your life.
- When have you ever experienced something and wondered 'why God’?
- How does your faith help you to daily turn over your ‘whys’ to God?
- What might you say to someone who witnesses the problems of this world but does not have faith in God?