I'm finally caught up to where I'm supposed to be on the Bible reading scheme. If you haven't joined the crew reading through the Bible, there's still time! You're not too far behind yet...
Abraham is the man. Honestly. He begins his journey with the LORD when he is 75 years old. He sets out unaware and uncertain. What does he have? God's promise. This is no small thing!
"I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing."
Don't overlook the "so that." Don't miss it. Why has God blessed Abraham? So that he will be a blessing to others. Abraham is to be the father of the people of God. Abraham is chosen. We aren't told why he is chosen, but we know that he listens to God and takes God's promise seriously. He obeys. So...God blesses Abraham so that others might be blessed and receive God's promises.
God's blessings are not ours to store up and/or take for granted. Any attitude that says, "God blessed me because I am so amazing, " is flat out unbiblical. God blesses his people so that they can bless others. God gives us gifts, talents, resources so that we can serve and use those gifts, talents, and resources to work for the Kingdom that it might be realized "on earth as it is in heaven."
"So she named the LORD who spoke to her, 'You are the God who sees me..."
Hagar names God, "The One who sees me." This is beautiful - to think that the God of the universe sees us. God looks upon us and is actually interested in knowing us, in relating to us. God enters into our lives because he wants to. God initiates the knowing; the seeing; the relationship. Thank you God because you see me, you see us!
"Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, 'Can a child be born to a man who is 100 years old?'"
The Covenant is renewed with Abraham time and again. God reminds Abraham of his promises just as we are in constant need of reminders about God's faithfulness. Finally, Abraham laughs at God. I thought this was rude of Abe at first, but then I realized, homeboy has been waiting 25 years for a son to make the promise come true. He has been following and obeying God for 25 years. He trusted God for 25 years; he left his home and his people; he survived famine and a time in Egypt; he tried to make the promise happen on his own by having sex with Hagar. Abraham has tried everything. He has really tried to believe God, and finally he simply laughs. He is now 100 years old. The thought of he and Sarah having children is hilarious. Let's be honest, it's ridiculous. But God is able. God is "able to do exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine" (Eph 3:20). God doesn't make empty promises.