When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.
God asked Abraham to make a covenant with the Lord and keep it. Abraham was to walk with God in faithfulness and holiness. In return, God would make Abraham the father of many nations. God made this covenant with Abraham and his descendants while Abraham and Sarah were still childless. What a bold promise! Abraham was ninety-nine years old, and Sarah was ninety. How ever were they to have a child, much less raise that child to know and love the Lord?
God doesn’t do things the usual way or the easy way. God’s way is one of faith, not simply what is practical or reasonable. Any young couple may have a child, but an elderly couple? God is in the business of bold, audacious miracles.
God requires us to trust in him, and especially when God’s ways seem out of step with what we might expect. Abraham had to keep believing that God would fulfill his promise and that Abraham and Sarah would have a child. And us? Can we keep trusting that God wants all good things for us, even if we are struggling through a difficult trial? Can we keep strong in our faith in God despite all the ways that our culture would pull us away from active faith?
Whether you face today an easy day or a daunting day, pray that God is in the middle of it, that God will direct you and guide you and keep you on right paths. Keep your focus on the Lord, to the glory of his name.
Lord God, help us grow in faith and obedience, and especially when it is hard to see the future you envision for us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on you, believing that you love us and want the best for us. We give to you whatever situation or problem is hardest to bear, and we will trust you to resolve it in your good time. Hear our prayers in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.