Lesson 4: Abraham and Sarah Took God at His Word
Like Abram, I must take God at His Word, even when I don’t understand. I’m never going to understand everything that God knows. But He is good, and I can trust Him. What seems impossible to my mind is very possible to God.
Genesis 16 depicts Sarai’s discouragement too as she grew older. She hadn’t gotten pregnant yet. How could she and Abram have a child this late in life? She concocted her maidservant could have a baby for her, so she convinced Abram to sleep with the maidservant. Hagar became pregnant with Abram’s child, but this birthed jealousy in Sarai. She got what she wanted but didn’t like what she received.
However, Hagar’s son, Ishmael, was not the descendant that God had promised. God again reaffirmed His promise to Abram about many descendants and this time He changed his name from Abram to Abraham, which means the father of multitudes. And He changed Sarai’s name to Sarah, which means mother of nations, and confirmed that a son would come from her. After one more year, Sarah would have a son. Sarah laughed to herself. She couldn’t fathom a woman of her age having a child. God reconfirmed that in one year, Sarah would have a son.
Lesson 5: God Redeemed Abraham and Sarah Despite Their Downfalls
God redeems even when my lack of understanding creates my own problems. I look at situations from human reasoning. I often forget that nothing is too hard for God, whether I understand or not.
But then in Genesis 21, Abraham and Sarah’s son, Isaac, was born at the exact time that God prophesied. Sarah’s laughter of skepticism turned into laughter of joy.
Then God asked Abraham to do an unfathomable thing in Genesis 22. More time went by, and Abraham heard from the Lord that he was to take his precious long-awaited son up the mountain and sacrifice him. By faith, Abraham knew God wouldn’t ask him to do this unless He was going to resurrect Isaac. Abraham knew that he and Isaac would go up the mountain and he and Isaac would also come back down the mountain.
Abraham and Isaac both went up the mountain, and Abraham began sacrificing his own son. But an angel of the Lord stopped Abraham before he could go through with it. God knew that Abraham truly feared Him and provided a ram to sacrifice instead. God only wanted Abraham to be willing. Ultimately, He didn’t want him to sacrifice his son. (The sacrifice of an only Son would come later. God the Father is the only one strong enough to do that.