By Dianne Barker
Dianne Barker here…just thinking about my biblical friend Abram.
The Lord had given him huge promises. “I will make you into a great nation…To your offspring I will give this land” (see Gen. 12:2, 7). He kept talking about the future (Gen. 13:14-17), but nothing seemed to be happening.
This didn’t make sense to Abram. “…O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me, since I remain childless…you have given me no children” (Gen. 15:2-3). He concluded his steward would be his heir.
The Lord said, “This man will not be your heir; but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.”
Clear enough. But his wife was old—past childbearing. Abram knew what the Lord said; maybe he and Sarai discussed what the Lord meant.
Sarai had a big idea: “Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her. Abram agreed to what Sarai said” (Gen. 16:1-3).
The handmaid Hagar bore Abram a son, Ishmael, but the promise would not come through him.
Thirteen years later, the Lord appeared to Abram, renewed the promise, changed their names to Abraham and Sarah, and explained his plan…specifically. “Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him” (Gen. 17:19).
It happened exactly that way. Old Sarah had a baby “at the very time God had promised” (Gen. 21:2).
Although he and Sarah messed a bit with God’s plan, Abraham left an impressive legacy. He “believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6).
The Amplified Bible says, “And he [Abram] believed in (trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness (right standing with God).”
Romans 4:3 says, “What does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’” Galatians 3:6 says it again.
And listen to this. “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.’ 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. Yet he 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. This is why ‘it was credited to him as righteousness.’ The words ‘it was credited to him as righteousness’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Romans 4:18-24).
The Amplified reads, “Abraham, human reason for hope being gone, hoped in faith…”
James 2:23 says, “…Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.”
God still speaks—through his written Word and his Spirit’s quiet voice in our hearts. When circumstances give no reason to hope, when nothing makes sense as far as human reasoning, when people say it’s time to run up the white flag of surrender, hope in faith.
God keeps his word. And he has a way of doing it so there’s no mistaking who did it.
Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Christian Women in Media. Visit www.diannebarker.com.