Bible Reading: Genesis 17:15-21; 18:9-15
There is a reason why so many Christians love the story of Abraham, and that is because it calls of us back to hope. Abraham was an old man, well passed the time of bearing children. The love of his life, Sarah, was also very late in years and no longer able to bear children, although she was barren and had never been able to. Without Genesis 12 occurring, and God stepping in closer to call Abraham into an amazing journey filled with miracles and great promises, Abraham and Sarah would have likely died together at an old age. But as we read and remember their story, we see God offer an amazing promise to Abraham: God will give Abraham a son!
What follows, in Genesis 17 and 18, is the stunned disbelief of both Abraham and Sarah, and how God will prove to them that there is nothing impossible for Him. First, God promises Abraham a son through Sarah, but Abraham is far too old to believe that. He pleads with God to bless his son with Hagar, Sarah’s maid-servant, rather than filling him with false hope. God’s response makes my heart warm with hope! In Genesis 17:19, God says, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.”
In Genesis 18, we read of Sarah’s response to the news. She overhears the Lord and His messengers talking with Abraham, and upon hearing that she will bear a son, Sarah can only laugh. She is far too old, and also, she has never been able to become pregnant. God confronts Sarah about her laughter, and in fear she denies it. God knows of her laughter and unbelief, but He will teach Sarah about His goodness and faithfulness. God is good and always keeps His promises! Within the next year, Sarah becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son. They named the child Isaac, which means Son of Laughter.
Application: Most of us are too ashamed to confess our hopes because they may seem silly and unrealistic, like finally having a son at age 90. Isaac’s name has meant more to me since I was blessed to become a father to my daughter. Jessica and I prayed for a child, and at the right time, God sent her to us. Sometimes, I can get frustrated with my daughter, but God gives me little reminders that she is an answer to prayer. I can imagine Abraham and Sarah getting upset with their son and calling out his name, and then smiling as they remember how laughable it was Isaac, their son of laughter, was there with them. The hope we have as Christians is also laughable. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, but God made a way. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to live a righteous life on our behalf, and died on the cross to take away our sins. We can now call God our Father. Thanks to Jesus we can have hope and we can laugh with joy. We are now the children of God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me and making me your very own. Life can get tiring and frustrating sometimes, and I lose sight of the hope and joy I have in you. Help me to always remember that I am yours, and may it always call me back to joy and laughter. I love you, my Heavenly Father. Amen.