Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Abrahamic" Faith

Today's sermon was about Abraham's faith as discussed by Paul in the book of Romans. But, to understand more about Abraham's faith, you'll need to read his story, which starts in Genesis 11:26. But, the part of the story I'm going to tell below has a brief mention in Genesis 11:30 and picks up again in Genesis 16.

Abraham was 85/86 years old and never had any children by his 74/75-year old wife. Surely, Abraham's line would end with his death. Sarah felt bad about this situation and tried to rectify it by doing something crazy. She tells her husband to sleep with her servant Hagar (Genesis 16:1-4) When Hagar finds out she's pregnant, she starts to despise Sarah. Sarah doesn't like this and "mistreats" Hagar. Hagar runs away but returns when an angel tells her to go back. Hagar gives birth to a son who is named Ishmael. Abraham becomes a father for the first time when he's 86 years old. But, he still didn't have a child from his wife.

Fast forward 13 years. Enter God. God tells Abraham that he'll be the father of many nations. He will make Abraham very fruitful. By this time, Abraham is 99 and Sarah is 90 years old. I know men can still be potent way past the years that women stop. But, 99 and 90? Incredible! That doesn't deter Abraham. He believes God and knows it will happen. Sarah, on the other hand, laughs at the absurdity. (Genesis 18:10 -12) As a sign of His promise, God tells Abraham that all of the males in his household (including servants) must be circumcised. (Genesis 17:10-14) Can you imagine being circumcised at 99 years old with no anesthesia? Cringe.
As God had promised, Sarah gives birth to a son (Genesis 21:1-7). They name him Isaac. Abraham becomes a father at 100 years old! Praise God! This is an example of Abrahamic faith and its blessings.

May you develop Abrahamic faith too.

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