Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
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Mon May 20, 2013
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Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
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Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Waiting on God
As we see in the story of Abram and Sarai, waiting on an infinite God can be difficult for finite people.
God is infinite—he has no beginning or end and he is not subject to any limitation. We, however, are the exact opposite, which is why it can be difficult for us to wait on him. Sometimes, waiting can lead us to doubt.
The anxiety of Abram
We see this illustrated vividly in Genesis 15 and 16. Abram has lost his sense of confidence. God promised to make him a “great nation” (Gen. 12:1–3), that his offspring will be as numerous as the “dust of the earth” (Gen. 13:14–17). But time has passed, and Abram and Sarai still lack a child.
Sensing delay, Abram voices his concern (Gen. 15:2–3), bluntly explaining the problem to God: “Look, you have not given me a descendant” (Gen. 15:3, leb). God responds not with rebuke (although this would have been justified) but with reassurance; he meets Abram at the point of his need and responds to him in loving, tangible ways. He goes to great lengths to provide Abram with the assurance he needs and to make his promise alive to Abram again. He leads him out into the starry night and tells him, “count the stars if you are able . . . so shall your offspring be” (Gen. 15:5 leb). He has Abram select a set of animals from his flock, slaughter them, and cut them in half to show that he will keep his end of the bargain. And all the while, God speaks words of comfort to his servant.
Don’t jump the gun on God
Yet God’s gracious intervention is not enough to quell Abram and Sarai’s anxiety because, just like 2 Peter 3:8 describes, “One day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.” Just as we do when we think we cannot wait on God any longer, Abram and Sarai take action on their own and produce an heir for Abram before God’s appointed time. They fail to recognize their plan for what it is: an attempt to hurry the fulfillment of God’s promise.
Impatient decisions often lead to unforeseen consequences: the actions of Abram and Sarai bring a child into a situation of conflict and discord. Yet God, in his grace, understands their limitations and is patient with them—as he is with us.
He is fulfilling his promise
When our “thousand years” of waiting seem to be without end, God wishes for us to submit to his timing. When our patience is tried, Abram’s example helps us recall that “the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise”; rather, he is simply bringing about his plan according to his flawless design (2 Pet. 3:9). God is eager to quell our doubts. When we sense delay and are tempted to speed up God’s plan, we need to remember that he will sovereignly bring about his promises according to his perfect timing.
This adapted excerpt is from Abraham: Following God’s Promise, posted here courtesy of Logos Bible Software. An eight-week, self-study program on the life of the first patriarch, Abraham comes with graphics, reflection questions and tools for users to record and save their answers. Abraham can also be purchased as a complete church curriculum, which adapts the study material for small group study and preaching. Pick up the book or the curriculum today.