July 10, 2020 – Friday
Romans 4:19-21 NIV
19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.
20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,
21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
The above verses are about none other than Abraham. In the two prior verses we read 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
To go back to the original conversation God had with Abram we would have to go back to Genesis 12:1-3 where God made a great covenant with Abram that lives on to this day. The LORD said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
In a brief overview of Abraham, the first Hebrew, we find Abraham lived in the city of Ur (capital of the ancient kingdom of Sumer). Sometime around 2,000 BC. God called Abraham to leave his home and go to a new land that God would show Him. The Bible traces Abraham’s steps from Ur to Haran (north of Canaan), through the land of Canaan, into Egypt, and back into Canaan (which later became Israel). A map and more details are at the link for the overview.
A few additional details of interest may be found here where we discover Abram was born to Terah, descendant of Noah’s son Shem, in the land of Ur, about 220 miles southeast of modern Baghdad, Iraq. Abram’s youngest brother, Haran, died, and Abram unofficially adopted Haran’s son Lot. Abram (“exalted father”) and his wife Sarai (who was also Abram’s half-sister — Geneisis 20:12) were childless.
Nonetheless God gave them a son, Isaac, when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old. Abram became Abraham – a father of many nations. Sarai became Sarah meaning princess as she was the mother of kings. Of even greater interest is Genesis 17:5 when God said No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. Both name changes required the addition of the Hebrew letter “he” – ה which represents the “spirit.” This site believes this represents God putting His spirit in them to create a new life – Isaac.
Knowing what we know now, let us look again at verses 20 and 21 above Yet he [Abram] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. He was strengthened in his faith. Why? Because he was fully persuaded God could do what he promised. By his faith he gave glory to God.
The question for us when things seem truly impossible is “Do we have faith?” “Do we have the faith of Abram?” Abram did not consider his own age or Sarai’s when God made His promise to him, but he had faith that God could do – and would do – as He had promised. Do we have the faith to act on God’s promises? Or are we too attached to this world’s promises. Do we follow Jesus or do we follow the quickest path to the next promotion and/or pay raise. Where is our faith and do we act on it? Are we fully persuaded God can do as He promises and will do as He has promised?
Abraham is honored in the Bible as a great man of righteousness because of his faith in the promises of God. Abram left all he knew and followed God’s directions away from his family and home in faith in the one true God while everyone else believed in many gods.
There are many parents who want their children to be Christians, but just not too much of a Christian. You know, like Abraham, who would follow Jesus first and foremost ahead of all that he world has to offer. As parents we want the best for our children, but often neglect to think of what is best for them from an eternal perspective. There are those who achieve great things in the secular world, but give all the credit to God. Not much to worry about there. Then there are those who no matter what they are doing and achieving it is all about me, me, me, and me. Lots to worry about there.
Lots to think on as Sunday approaches when we can have corporate worship, prayer, praise, and study of God’s Word. Remember to Go to Church and ask for intercessory prayer wherever you may want or need it.