“And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “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 as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.” – Genesis 17:15-19.

In Genesis 17, God promises Abraham he would have so many descendants that they’d be too numerous to count through a son born to him by Sarah. (Genesis 15:5 and Genesis 17:16). First, it didn’t seem logical. Sarah and Abraham were old. Sarah was 90 and Abraham 100 when Isaac was born. Then it wasn’t very timely, at least from Abraham’s perspective. God made the promise approximately 20 years before Abraham and Sarah had Isaac. And it certainly was not without challenges. Abraham and Sarah had tried to “help” God keep his promises by finding a solution. Abraham slept with Sarah’s servant Hagar and had a son.

Regardless of logic, time or interference, God kept his promise—exactly as He promised.

Have you ever been praying and waiting and praying some more? It’s easy to get stuck when we look at our circumstances and the calendar. Time passes and God has not “fixed” it yet. Have you ever got to the point where you assume the answer is no and develop your own solution as Abraham and Sarah did? The fact of the matter is that God’s timetable is a whole lot different than our timetable. Yet we know that God is God. He keeps His promises. We can trust Him. We can rest in the assurance that God keeps His promise and He keeps them in His time, exactly as He promised. Unfortunately, it is rarely (should I say never) in our time. While I’m still waiting, however,  I can hang on to the fact that in God’s perfect time, He will keep His promise.

Psalm 91:14-16 says, “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Genesis 15:1-3. As this chapter opens, Abraham expresses his frustration to God that he doesn’t have an heir. What needs do you have that have yet to be fulfilled?
  2. Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness (v. 6). Do you believe that God is true to His word? In what ways does this affect how you trust Him with the details of your life?
  3. Read Genesis 15:8. Abraham asks for confirmation and God responds with a ceremony affirming His commitment to Abraham. How has God confirmed or demonstrated His faithfulness to you?
  4. Pray and ask God for the faith to wait, trusting God and His plan.