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Daily Devotional // Genesis 17:1-27; 21:1-7

Daily Devotional // Genesis 17:1-27; 21:1-7

Posted on January 07, 2019

Have you ever waited on what seemed like an impossible situation?

Maybe you wanted more than anything to grow your family, but your adoption application was denied or your home pregnancy tests kept reading negative. Maybe you were waiting for results from the doctor, and the minutes ticked by at a painfully slow pace. Maybe you were waiting for a call just even one company to give you an interview. Or maybe you’ve just generally been waiting to feel happy again, but you can’t kick the underlying feeling of depression or anxiety that clouds over most of your days.

If you flip through the Bible, it won’t take long before you realize you’re far from alone, but rather, in very good company.

Abraham and Sarah tried for years and years to start a family with nothing to show for it. It wasn’t hard for them to remain hopeful in their 20’s and 30’s, but when their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s rolled around, that hope seemed unreasonable to many. Sarah hit the age of retirement—wouldn’t you consider a baby out of the question by this point?

Yet God, as He usually does and always can do, makes the impossible possible. He appears to Abraham Himself and not only promises that this couple would have their own baby boy, but God declares that Abraham would become the father of a multitude of nations and Sarah the mother of many nations! What a moment this would have been! Decades of waiting finally over… right?

Well, actually, no. Even then, Abraham and Sarah had to wait 25 more years until they welcomed Isaac into this world. Try to put yourself in their shoes for a minute—would it be easy for you to trust in God’s timing or doubt His promise? Yet centuries later, Sarah is recorded in the Hall of Fame described in Hebrews 11:11—“And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered Him faithful who had made the promise.” This couple linked arms, and we see God blessed their unity and faith.

Whatever seems impossible in your life today, think again. God is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine, but the miracle will require patience and trust. Take heart, but also, take someone along with you. Abraham and Sarah were devoted to one another, breathed encouragement into their doubt, and faced each day united. Who can you link arms with as you wait? Who will keep the faith alongside you as the days pass by?

God is still calling His people to trust in His timing, and He’s still calling His people to encourage one another in the meantime. May we reach out to others when we doubt or grow weak, and in turn, may we be strong in the Lord for our friends, family, and neighbors in their time of need. God will shine His light and promises through His people, so let’s rise to the occasion and allow Him to work through us.

  1. Whether it’s your mom, spouse, friend, or co-worker, who are those people you can link arms with as you wait? On the flip side, who is someone that may need your encouragement?
  2. May this be our prayer: “Thank you, Lord, for the many different types of relationships you’ve given me. Remind me to encourage others in their hardship, but when trials come my way, remind me equally to reach out to others for support. Thank you for never leaving me and working out a plan for my good!”
Genesis 17:1-27

Abram Is Named Abraham

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. 2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”

3 At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them!

“I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.”

The Mark of the Covenant

Then God said to Abraham, “Your responsibility is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility. 10 This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised. 11 You must cut off the flesh of your foreskin as a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 From generation to generation, every male child must be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. This applies not only to members of your family but also to the servants born in your household and the foreign-born servants whom you have purchased. 13 All must be circumcised. Your bodies will bear the mark of my everlasting covenant. 14 Any male who fails to be circumcised will be cut off from the covenant family for breaking the covenant.”

Sarai Is Named Sarah

15 Then God said to Abraham, “Regarding Sarai, your wife—her name will no longer be Sarai. From now on her name will be Sarah. 16 And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will be among her descendants.”

17 Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. “How could I become a father at the age of 100?” he thought. “And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety years old?” 18 So Abraham said to God, “May Ishmael live under your special blessing!”

19 But God replied, “No—Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant. 20 As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But my covenant will be confirmed with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year.” 22 When God had finished speaking, he left Abraham.

23 On that very day Abraham took his son, Ishmael, and every male in his household, including those born there and those he had bought. Then he circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins, just as God had told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and Ishmael, his son, was thirteen. 26 Both Abraham and his son, Ishmael, were circumcised on that same day, 27 along with all the other men and boys of the household, whether they were born there or bought as servants. All were circumcised with him.

Genesis 21:1-7

The Birth of Isaac

The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. And Abraham named their son Isaac. Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.

And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!”

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