“And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.”
As recorded in Genesis 12, when Abram was about 75 years old, and Sarai 65, Abram was told by God to leave his kindred and go to a land that He would show to him. At God’s direction they went to a place that they did not know, which was many hundreds of miles from where they started.
As time went on, God visited Abram and Sarai two more times. On the second visit, God told Abram that He would give to Abram’s descendants the land on which he stood, to be theirs for all time. God made this promise to Abram with an oath. In the way He did it, God took full responsibility for keeping His promise. Though childless, Abram believed God, and as the scripture says, it was counted to Abram for righteousness. Upon that visit, God changed the names of Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah.
God’s last visit to them was when God promised that Sarah would have a son. Abraham was about 99 years old, and Sarah about 90, 25 years after His first visit. God had promised Abraham that the land would be inherited by his children, and their descendants. But Abraham and Sarah had no children. When God met Abraham this time, He promised him that Sarah would have a son. Needless to say, both Abraham and Sarah could hardly believe this news. It is recorded that Sarah laughed. How could something like this happen? But, in Genesis 18:14, God asked, “Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” The verse above states that God did what He had said He would do.
The book of Jeremiah relates the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by a siege by the Babylonians. King Nebuchadnezzar surrounded the city for three years, literally starving them out. While this was happening, God directed Jeremiah to purchase a piece of land from his uncle’s son. The transaction was legally processed, and Jeremiah was told by the Lord to take action to preserve the documentation. Since Jeremiah was living in the city at the time of the siege, he knew what was going on. He questioned the LORD concerning the purchase. In Jeremiah 32:27, the LORD said, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” God promised that in 70 years they would be back in the land, and land purchases would be important.
One day, Mary was visited by an angel. From the angel she learned about God’s plan to send a Savior to the world. She learned that she would be the mother of that special Child. She was surprised at this news, asking how could it possibly be? The angel’s answer included Mary’s cousin, Elisabeth. In Luke 1:36, 37, the angel said, “And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
The sign read, “Faith is not believing that God can, but that God will.” This calls for an improper view if God. In fact, faith is believing that God can, that He is able. Whether or not God will is entirely up to Him. Our faith never forces His hand. Each of the above situations were cases of God making promises, and acting to bring them to pass. Abraham and Sarah believed that God could do what He had said. They didn’t see the 25 year wait. God kept His promise.
Clearly, when God’s says He is going to do something, it comes to pass. The time it might take, as we count it, is irrelevant. Each case above proves this. They had a son, but Abram and Sarah never saw their descendants. But He had promised. Jeremiah ended up staying in the land when Nebuchadnezzar took most of the city away. In Daniel’s time, the people returned to the city. Elisabeth’s barrenness was no match for God’s might, and neither was Mary’s virginity. All of these learned that with God, nothing is impossible.
I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But I know whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.
I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.
I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.
I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.
Refrain (Daniel W. Whittle)