Do you ever doubt God? Do you ever doubt His promises? Do you ever read the Bible and think in your heart that God can’t do that? Abraham and Sarah once doubted. They even laughed at God. But after the laughter, God asked a simple question that we should ask when we doubt God.
When the Bible first introduces us to Abram and Sarai, we are told that they were childless.
Gen. 11:30 Sarai was barren; she had no child.
After he became 75 years old, Abram was told several times he would have descendants. Notice that none of these promises mentioned who the mother would be.
Gen. 12:4b-7 Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran… …The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.”
Gen. 13:14-16 The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. “I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered.
Gen. 15:4-5 Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him [Abram], saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
When Abram was 86 years old, Sarai was still childless, but Hagar bore Abram a child.
Gen. 16:1 ¶ Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar.
Gen. 16:3 After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife.
Gen. 16:15 ¶ So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
Gen. 16:16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to him.
When Ishmael was born, Abram had been told he would have descendants, but he had never been promised that Sarai would bear him a child. For the next 13 years, Abram and Sarai probably assumed that Ishmael was the one who would provide Abram’s descendants. Then when Abram was 99 years old, Yahweh made a promise concerning Sarai.
Gen. 17:15 ¶ Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
Gen. 17:16 “I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
Abraham was told that he and Sarah would have a child. How did he respond? Notice the words “fell”, “laughed”, and “heart”.
Gen. 17:17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
The creator of the universe told Abraham that Sarah would bear a child, but Abraham laughed in disbelief. Abraham was skeptical because of their age. Humanly speaking, they were too old to have children.
Some time after this, Yahweh appeared to Abraham and repeated this promise about Sarah and this time Sarah laughed. Notice the words “old” and “laughed”.
Gen. 18:1 ¶ Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day.
Gen. 18:9 ¶ Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.”
Gen. 18:10 He said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him.
Gen. 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing.
Gen. 18:12 Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”
The text specifically mentions that Sarah was past the age of childbearing. It was humanly impossible for Sarah to bear a child so she laughed at the thought, but notice the question in verse 14. Notice who asked the question.
Gen. 18:13 And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’
Gen. 18:14 “Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
Gen. 18:15 Sarah denied it however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
Yahweh asked a question: Is anything too difficult for Yahweh? The answer is no. Humanly it was impossible for Abraham and Sarah to have a child, and when they were told they would have a child, they responded in disbelief. However, this was Yahweh telling them this. He is the one and only true God, the Creator of the Universe, and nothing is impossible for Yahweh.
Abraham and Sarah had trouble believing that Yahweh could do the impossible. Do we do the same? Do we ever doubt God’s promises because they seem impossible? Do we get so fixated on what is humanly possible or not possible that we lose sight of the fact that Yahweh can perform miracles?
No matter what situation we are in, we can always count on God’s promises because God can do the impossible. As we read the Bible and come across promises that seem impossible, let’s ask ourselves this question:
Is anything too difficult for Yahweh?
Are you hopeful about your life?
What should we do when the future seems bleak?
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“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”