God did not allow Abraham and Sarah’s old age to serve as an obstacle to prevent Him from fulfilling His promise that He would give them a son. If He had, then it would mean that He would be confining Himself within the boundaries that the natural or carnal man lives by. This type of person does not live by faith in God and so the things (ways and acts) of God which are spiritually discerned are foolishness to them (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Perceiving things from a carnal “natural man” mind set results in the conclusion that a woman of ninety years old, which is an age well past menopause, can conceive is impossible. As the angel Gabriel told Mary the mother of Jesus Christ, concerning Elizabeth who was also past child bearing age “with God nothing shall be impossible”(Luke 1:37 KJV).
Our God is the great I Am, the Almighty God also called El Elyon, the Most High God, creator and possessor of the whole universe!! He is a “mountain mover”; no obstacle whatever its size is insurmountable by Him in the pathway of fulfilling His plans and purposes to the glory of His Name and Kingdom.
Therefore we serve a God who is as controller of the universe does what He chooses to do and when He chooses to do it. This is why if we choose to be as the Spiritual man of 1 Corinthians 2:15-16, walking in and judging by the Spirit as ones with the minds of Christ, we are guaranteed an understanding of God’s ways. True worshippers who worship God in Spirit and truth in these last days are the type of people God calls His children (John 4:24).
DELAY IS NOT DENIAL, BUT TO REAP MAXIMUM GLORY
It is worth noting that it took 25 years before the promise by God to give Abraham a child came to fruition. Abraham was called out of Haran and from among his relatives by God at the age of 75 (Gen 12:1-3) and God promised to make him a father of many nations. He was 100 years old when Isaac was born and Sarah was 90 years old (Gen.17:15-21/Gen 21:1-3). Through this incident we are given an insight into one of God’s ways rooted in His nature or thoughts which is how He strategises a number of times in scripture to prolong the waiting time for the manifestation of His promises or miracles so as to reap the maximum glory out of them.
In the case of Abraham waiting for 25 years before the son of promise was born, this meant that the extent of awe of having Sarah give birth at an even older age than when Abraham received the promise and the extent of Satan’s defeat and the shame rendered to doubters and mockers was far greater than if God had performed the miracle the year the promise was given or earlier than when it was fulfilled.
We serve a multi-tasking God who while reaping the maximum glory out of a situation through a chosen strategy will simultaneously be applying another strategy within the first also for His glory.
For instance, God also strategised that Abraham and Sarah would benefit during the waiting period for their child. They benefitted in that their faith, patience and perseverance in relation to God, His ways and acts were strengthened. God will use every opportunity to transform our hearts and minds so that we become more like Him through Christ Jesus.
By the time Isaac was born, Abraham’s faith and trust in God was such that he did not hesitate to commence the sacrificial process of Isaac, his much sought after son when God told him to do so. When he was about to kill Isaac, God provided a ram as a substitute. God’s command to Abraham was a test (Genesis 22:1) and he revealed to Abraham that he had passed the test in this manner: “And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here [am] I…Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me.” (Gen 22:11-12 KJV).
God also foreknew that Ishmael would be conceived by Abraham with Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian maid due to impatience while they Abraham and Sarah waited on God to fulfill His promise. Therefore while to the natural mind Ishmael’s birth was an accident, in God’s supernatural plan it was not. Ishmael’s birth and therefore destiny as a means through whom nations would be born (Abrahamic inheritance, although different to that of Isaac) was God’s will otherwise He would not, in His sovereignty have allowed it to happen.
Despite challenges, impatience with God and testing along the way, Abraham prevailed and was imputed with the righteousness of God as well as an all time recognition as a world renowned man of faith. Abraham must have been filled with awe and thankfulness (although scripture does not state this) when he contemplated not only what God had done for him and Sarah but how He had done it; God reaped more glory before multitudes out of Abraham and Sarah’s prolonged wait for the promise than if God had done it another way and it included increasing this couple’s knowledge of the thoughts and strategies of the God they worshipped.
As children of God, we ought to be encouraged by this as we live our Christian lives because at any given time, God has our destinies perfectly mapped out. In addition as long as we continue to partner with Him, He will fulfil His promises to us no matter how long it takes while removing every obstacle and reaping as much glory out of the process as possible.
NOTE: God’s Ways: Maximising His Glory – “Delay is not Denial” Part 1 (this week) & 2 (next week Part 2 Glory Maximisation: The Resurrection of Lazarus); These articles are from Chapter 2 of my book God’s ways are Higher (Light of the World-John8.12 Publishing).
In this book, I expound on case studies from scriptures that reveal God’s Ways that are often not easily understood by people and at times may appear foolish to the human mind. However His sovereignty, wisdom and might are greatly revealed in the process as well as the outcome. This book also helps us to know and understand the God we serve and hopefully encourages the reader to search the scriptures more and to cultivate an intimate lifestyle with God even more.
©2018 Deborah E. Nyamekye
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