“When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face.” (Genesis 17:1–3, ESV)
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram. God never forgets His promises. When He delays, He has a bigger, better plan to accomplish. God delays because He has a purpose. And so, now God shows up so He can show off! When we read the promises of God to Abraham here (Genesis 17:4-8), we discover that God’s promises affect generations, not just our short futures.
Thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael, Abraham and Sarah’s child of doubt, God fulfilled His promise to give Abraham a son from Sarah’s womb. Post-menopausal and infertile, this couple had long since given up on the possibility of God fulfilling His promise to them through a child of their union.
But when He shows up, He loves to show off! And so it was with Abraham and Sarah. That long ago promised son was now on his way (Genesis 17:15-21)! Such a preposterous declaration made Abraham – the man of faith – fall on his face and laugh out loud.
And yet, God wasn’t amused. His promise had been made decades before. Now He was here to announce the time of its fulfillment. Why should Abraham find it so ludicrous? God is able to do “far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20, ESV) When God promises, God fulfills. Not on our schedule, but on His.
With the promise though, came conditions. Before the covenantal fulfillment and the abundant multiplication, God called Abraham to “walk before me, and be blameless.”Abraham’s response is the same as any man or woman of faith: “Then Abram fell on his face.”
Worship and surrender mark the moment of decision. If you are at that place right now, today is the day to fall on your face and surrender to His will, His plan … and I must say His timing. Worship and adore the God who never forgets His promises. Even when they seem too late, too impossible, or too ridiculous at this stage of life. After all, He is the God of the impossible (remember the virgin birth)!
Faith Filled Fridays hope to boost your trust in God and accelerate your daring and courage in everyday life. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each encouragement out of a heart that has known both great joy and great loss – his wife of 38 years, 5 months and 2 days was promoted to Heaven on November 11, 2017. Through every experience, God has proven Himself more than faithful and trustworthy. He welcomes your comments below.