Genesis 17:15-17: No super-hero.

“15 God also said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.’               17 Abraham fell face down; he laughed and said to himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?’” NIV UK

I love the gritty, down-to-earth reality of the Bible stories. These are characters I can identify with. They are flawed, and I can relate to that! They might love God, and be seeking to follow him in faith; they may be living sacrificially. Abraham was doing all of that and more. But in this short passage he could not believe what God was saying to him. On the face of it, that might trouble you. You might think, ‘Well surely if God spoke to you, and you knew it was God, you would have to believe him.’ But Abraham didn’t – and there is something incredibly real about that. Why would any author make that up? If the writer were spinning a yarn, surely he’d want to make him out to be a super-hero? But that’s not what you have here.

Note:

  • The definite promise of God: ‘’I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her’’ (16a);
  • The disconnect in Abraham’s response. His body was worshipping, but his heart was questioning (17). He was no doubt torn between wanting to believe and being unable to.

I take encouragement in the grace and mercy of God, that He did not write him off.