Scripture Read: Genesis 20-21
Title: God's Promises Fulfilled
(H) Highlight verse:: "The LORD visited Sarah just as He said HE would and did for Sarah what He had promised?" Genesis 21:1
(E) Explain: There are two trust stories found in these two chapters. One deals with believing that God will fulfill His promise to protect and one deals with believing God will deliver on His promise of giving Sarah a child.
In chapter 21 we read the story of Abraham, Sarah and King Abimelek. Abraham was worried that his life would be endangered if he went to the Gerar and the King found out Sarah was his wife. He must have thought that since Sarah was so beautiful that the king would want her for himself and have Abraham killed. Sounds again like the beginning of a good soap opera. Abraham and Sarah lie to the king because they fear for their safety and ultimately have an issue with trusting God's protection, If you recall the covenant God made with Abraham was a promise to be with him wherever he went. All in all the outcome is favorable for Abraham and Sarah, but we do see that even the patriarch of the Jewish faith and Christianity had difficulty at times completely trusting God.
In Chapter 22 we read about the fulfillment of God's promise of a son to Sarah. A couple chapters previous we are told how Sarah laughed in disbelief when she heard she would have a child in her old age. Now, we see God's promise come to fruition and Sarah's response is not a laugh of disbelief or a cry of despair, no, she laughs with joy because God proved to her that He is trustworthy to deliver on His promises.
(A) Application: I never tire of saying this, "God always keeps His promises." For me the problem is never that God doesn't deliver on His promises, the problem is I have difficulty sometimes, believing God will fulfill what He has promised. I know that I get anxious when things aren't going my way, or I believe God is up to something good in my life and He isn't working fast enough or on my schedule and this quickly turns to unbelief. I start thinking, well maybe God isn't going to do what He said? I think that I am actually that special! Of all the people throughout history Jeff Holton is the only person that God decides not to follow through with His promises. I can be pretty pathetic sometimes,
My wife has a quote on our kitchen wall that says, "We know who wins in the end... But the middle is hard." Such is life. Believing the promise of God is easy. Receiving the promise of God is easier. But the middle, the waiting, the fully trusting God, well that's hard.
(R) Respond: When life is tough and not going the way I expect it, I will hold on to God's promises. I will cling to Jesus. When life is going great and everything seems to be going the way I hope and pray, I will hold on to God's promises and cling to Jesus. But for today, Lord I pray you help me to fully trust you in everything.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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