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Posts Tagged ‘Isaac’


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh” – for she was afraid.  And He said, “No, but you did laugh.” – Genesis 18:15

– For I know the things that come into your mind … every one of them. – Ezekiel 11:5

Have you ever chuckled quietly to yourself over the remembrance of a funny memory from days past? Perhaps it was a private laugh lifting your spirit for a little while – or an amusing moment which made you smile inside.  Or, it might have been a little more like a silent snicker in your soul.  Maybe one directed at God – one of growing disbelief or doubt about any good thing ever happening to you.

One saying to Him something like, “Yeah, right – like any of Your promises are going to come true for me.” A laugh tinged with, “I am growing tired of waiting, time is passing, and I am not getting any younger.” Sarah did such a thing – and God heard her; even though it was within herself (Genesis 18:12, lead verse).  Even her husband Abraham had pretty much done the same thing previously (Genesis 17:17).

God had already promised Abraham an heir – but He did not say when (Genesis 15:1-4).  So, they soon tried to rush God by having Hagar conceive a child with Abraham.  After all, he was already 86 – and Sarah was barren (Genesis 16:1-16).  How much longer did they have to live?  How much longer would it take for the Lord to follow through on His promise? Would we wait another 14 years like they did?

The second time God spoke to Abraham about this matter, he was 99 (Genesis 17:1), and Sarah was 90 (Genesis 17:17).  This time, the Lord told him exactly when his heir would be born – and the child would be named Isaac (Genesis 17:19-21).  Sarah still had to laugh, saying, “Shall I of a surety bear a child when I am old?”  But, God replied,  “Is there any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:13-14).

All creatures are continually manifest before God – open and naked unto Him (Hebrews 4:13).  Our Father cannot miss things as if He was asleep, busy talking with others, or off on a trip (1 Kings 18:27). Heavenly mistakes cannot be made (Deuteronomy 32:4).  Muted laughs on our lips, silent thoughts in our heads, or quiet questions in our hearts, are all heard by Him above – loud and clear each time.

We have to be very mindful and aware at all times, about things we may think nobody else knows or hears – if we should believe they are tucked away for safe-keeping deep inside our souls (1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Chronicles 28:9, Hebrews 4:12).  We cannot get anything past God.  We cannot hide in a secret place where we may like to get away alone  – where He can’t see or hear us (Jeremiah 23:24).

God makes many promises for us throughout His Word.  We can speak persuasive and motivating words about them to others – but mock Him silently inside ourselves if we have not seen any of them personally come true yet.  Mocking mean teasing or laughing at someone in a contemptuous manner. Even if we are keeping such derision inside, He will know.  God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7).

Abraham and Sarah came close to doing so.  Still, the Lord delivered on His promise – and Isaac was born at the precise time He said it would (Genesis 17:21, Genesis 21:1-3).  However, it was all done exactly in accordance with His eternal purposes – not Abraham and Sarah’s earthly ones.  If we get impatient waiting for any of His promises to come true like they did – we can rush right into trials or trouble.

Despite having doubts, Abraham stayed with God throughout – and did not stagger in unbelief.  Even though the couple tried to rush the process through Hagar – they turned back to God when things did not turn out as expected (Genesis 16:1-16).  The two learned to wait by faith on God.  Against all hope of having a child at their ages, they believed He would perform as promised (Romans 4:18-21).

According to His plan from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  It is why we wait upon God.  To prove and purify our motives and desires for doing anything in His name.  To show God if we are truly minding Him and His will, regardless of what might be happening (Jeremiah 42:6).  Or, if we’re just doing things of our own will and minds – like some thought Moses had done (Numbers 16:28, Jeremiah 14:14).

When Abraham and Sarah realized God is not rushed – a right thing happened.  When they finally waited for events to unfold according to His eternal plan; nothing went wrong.  The same goes for us.  If we don’t like waiting on God – including for the return of Christ – we might begin to silently laugh or scoff at Him; turning again to our lusts in unbelief (Hebrews 3:12, 2 Peter 3:3-4).  And, He will know when.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Cast not away therefore your confidence; which has great recompense of reward.  For you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God – you might receive the promise. – Hebrews 10:35-36

– Patience is tied very closely to faith in our heavenly Father.  When we are unduly impatient – we are suggesting we know what is best – better than God. Or, at least we are asserting our timetable is better than His.  We can grow in faith only if we are willing to wait for God’s purposes and patterns to unfold in our lives – on His timetable. – Neil Maxwell

Abraham and Sarah had need of patience in waiting for God to perform as promised – by giving Abraham an heir (Genesis 15:1-4, Romans 4:21).  However, they did not want to wait faithfully the first time. Abraham was 86 and Sarah was barren.  She was far past child-bearing years.  How long were the two supposed to wait on God – when He didn’t say how long?  It was time to take matters into their hands.

Sarah talked her husband into conceiving a child by their Egyptian handmaid, Hagar (Genesis 16:1-4) – casting away their confidence in God’s promise by doing so.  It all caused loathing between the two women (Genesis 16:4-5).  The son born a little later – Ishmael – was not what He had planned for the couple.  An angel of the Lord told Hagar that Ishmael would be a wild man (Genesis 16:11-12).

The first time God spoke to Abraham about this matter, He didn’t say when the child would be born (Genesis 15:1-4).  Maybe He wanted to see how long the couple would wait before trying to do it according to their clock.  Regardless, God’s timing was to set up the lineage leading to the birth of Jesus.  At precisely the right time He had planned all along for mankind – from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10, Titus 1:2).

After the first attempt to birth his promised heir – it would be 13 more years before Abraham would hear about this subject from God (Genesis 16:16, Genesis 17:1).  This time, He gave the set time when Sarah would conceive (Genesis 17:21, Genesis 21:2).  The couple had learned their lesson.  This time the two waited patiently for the promise.  Isaac was born exactly when God said he would be (Genesis 21:3).

This world today is filled with many wants, wishes, desires – and “must-have now” messages from the marketing arena.  A major corporation now runs commercials where one of the lines within is “Why wait – when you can have it now?”  We have our on-demand access to movies, and automated access to money.  If this is the way we like it as adults, aren’t we passing impatience on to our kids?

Paul Sweeney once wrote, “How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras – teach patience to its young?”  Because of such things and more, patience can be a huge problem for anyone in modern society.  How can we teach it to our children if we have a hard time waiting for stop lights to turn from red to green while driving?

How can we teach tolerance to our kids, if we ourselves can’t stand getting behind a slow-moving car for more than just a few minutes – if that long?   What do the young ones learn when they see us getting antsy for having to wait in a check-out line for more than just a matter of 15-30 seconds?  How are they ever going to learn to wait on God if we can’t – especially if we are Christians?

However, if it’s any comfort – there is never anything new to God under His sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  The human race has always had problems waiting on God since the Garden of Eden.  Eve desired wisdom – and she didn’t want to wait.  When the serpent tempted her into taking a bite of the apple to get it – it was too much to resist (Genesis 3:4-6).  Eve’s lack of patience in waiting was eye-opening  (Genesis 3:7).

A failure of patience can also make us miss out on our Father’s positive promises – if prolonged periods of difficulty dash any hopes we had of ever seeing or receiving them.  We could also begin pointing the wrong fingers.  When a great famine hit Israel’s Samaria region – some resorted to cannibalism for survival.  The king of Israel got tired of waiting on God to end it (2 Kings 6:25-29).

God ended up being blamed.  “This evil is of the Lord; why should I wait for Him any longer!?” – the king cried (2 Kings 6:33).  If he had waited one more day – the famine would end how God had planned all along.  According to His timing and methods.  Who would have considered four hungry lepers, stumbling across an abandoned stash of army provisions as a way to end a famine (2 Kings 7:3-16)?

It didn’t get much better in New Testament days. When Jesus passed through Jericho – being near to Jerusalem – those that heard the Son of man speak thought the kingdom of heaven should immediately appear.  Why wait for Christ to be crucified and then come back for them sometime later?  What would they do while waiting in the meantime?  What if Jesus never returned at all (Luke 19:11-12)?

Do any of us think like this today?  There shall be those walking after their own lusts in the last times, scoffing at this promise of Christ’s return.  Some people will become weary of waiting for it, because everything will be continuing on just like it has since the beginning.  How long will we keep waiting for salvation later when things seem to worsening now – not improving (Matthew 24:12, 2 Peter 3:3-4)?

Patience means we wait upon God – even when we may not feel like waiting anymore.  Impatience causes us to rush.  A rushed life is undisciplined.  We can begin trying to speed up the process of receiving God’s promises as Abraham and Sarah did.  We can start succumbing to Satan’s subtle temptations – as Eve did.  We can begin blaming Him for evil things like famines, as Israel’s king did.

Our need of patience is extremely important with God.  Forms of the word (e.g. patience, patient, patiently) appear 52 times in the KJV.  Just because any spiritual seed is planted – does not mean it is going to prosper (Ezekiel 17:10).  Producing the spiritual fruit God requires of us, in keeping with His commandment to repent – can’t be done without patience (Luke 8:15, Acts 17:30, Galatians 5:22-23).

We are to follow after patience, among several other spiritual disciplines (1 Timothy 6:11).  Sadly, waiting is not a trait normally learned by all the instant fixes the world often offers us for the troubles we face. However, if we should encounter any type of trial from God, we are to glory in it – not grumble.  For enduring such works patience.  Patience leads to experience; followed by hope (Romans 5:3-4).

Hope is the overriding reason for our patience with God – the promise of salvation.  However, hope seen is no longer hope.  We are all waiting patiently here below heaven for a hope and promise nobody has seen yet (Romans 8:24-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:8). We are to rest in Him, abiding quietly unto salvation, no matter what others may be doing while they wait (Psalm 37:7, Lamentations 3:26).

Keeping our confidence now – has great recompense of rewards later (lead passage).  The eternal ones promised to us by God, if we remain steadfast in our faith until the end (Hebrews 3:14) – doing His will daily while waiting for Jesus to return (Luke 11:2). When God’s grace, salvation, and kingdom will be brought to those of us who waited with patient faith (1 Peter 1:9, 1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 12:10).

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