Day 11

Abraham & Sarah

from the Genesis reading plan


Genesis 17:1-27, Genesis 18:1-15, Hebrews 11:8

BY Guest Writer

Genesis 17:1-27, Genesis 18:1-15, Hebrews 11:8

God is not a God of coincidences. He is not a God of chance—one who rolls the dice, takes a gamble, or who is ever even pleasantly surprised by an outcome. He always knows and always times and has always planned.

I reminded myself of this when the assignment for this devotional came across my email today, and the scripture read:

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.”
-Hebrews 11:8

Six months ago, a day after our wedding, we moved to a city farther west than either my husband or I had ever lived. And today—six months later, almost to the day—we began our morning looking through real estate and job listings back on our home coast. We didn’t plan on this; we bought our house planning to be here, planning to work and grow old in this city. But God doesn’t submit to our plan, we’re learning, and the loss of my husband’s job three months ago made that clear.

We all love the afterglow of a miracle—the job we never expected, the house we loved on the spot, the small graces and big changes. We love to talk about how God provided and blessed and brought and showed. But few of us talk about the fear, the angst, the trepidation we brought to the prelude.

My husband furrowed his brow this morning and listed out his fears, and I listed mine. We compared lists. At least one of us was near tears: it wasn’t supposed to be like this. We had a plan; this wasn’t it.

By faith: Without sight, without a plan, without the surety of a miracle, Abraham went.

Abraham obeyed: He listened, he heard, and he obeyed.

When he was called: He was a man bent to hearing God, always piqued by God’s voice, God’s care, God’s Word. He knew he was called because he knew the sound of the One calling.

To go out to a place: To leave the comfortable, the known, and the planned. He went further out, not further in.

That he was to receive: Meaning, he had not yet received it. The promise was there, but the inheritance was not.

An inheritance: Something has to die in order for an inheritance to come.

And he went out, not knowing where he was going: Without sight, without a plan, without a surety of anything except that God would go with him and there would be an inheritance—he went out.

God is a God of providence and planning, and this verse came across my desk on a week when I need both. He is provident, providing in the right moment. He plans, making a way where the path seems unclear. Our only call is to hear and to obey. Whether to stay or to go, to take the job or leave it, to buy the house or sell it, to marry the person or not, to write the letter or not, to make the phone call or not, to leave the church or to stay. He makes the way.

Like Abraham, we balk at the impossibilities (Genesis 17:17). Like Sarah, we laugh at the promise (Genesis 18:12). And even still, God makes a way. He has already made the way.

A friend of mine used to say faith isn’t faith if you can see where you’re going—and that sounds better than it feels. Blindness in the midst of decision-making seems the antithesis of good planning. How do you know what to do? Where to go? Who to be? What to buy? To behold, to see, and to know God are the pinnacle of the Christian’s pursuit—how do we hold faith and sight in the same hand?

I think of Abraham today—the land he could not see, the inheritance he could not hold, and the stalwart hope he had in God. This is the faith we ask for: to be so blinded by the light of our Father that we trust His voice, His call, His Word, and His plan more than we could ever trust our own.

Lore Wilbert is the Director of Community and Formation at Park Church, Denver, and writer at Sayable.net. Find her on twitter @lorewilbert.

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Post Comments (102)

102 thoughts on "Abraham & Sarah"

  1. Phylicia says:

    Thank you Lore for sharing your story and just how this ‘assignment’ came at the right time for you and your husband in the midst of major decisions and struggle! I skipped my morning worship yesterday in the rush to get going and out the door but somehow, God still had grace and brought today’s message at the right time. All in His planning. My husband and I are in a very similar situation. We’re in the middle of moving to a nearby city and we’ve been overwhelmed with having to leave our current rental by the end of this week (since our landlord sold the house), pack our belongings and store them (since we do not have a place to live yet), and trying to just trust completely in God’s timing, even though from our perspective it seems off. Today’s study reminded me of how this is a complete leap of faith and how God really wants to remind us He has a plan and it doesn’t involve us knowing the details yet! We know He lead to this move and new job, we just have to trust Him to pull all the other pieces together. I’ll say I’ve had a couple breakdowns and stress reactions but today’s devotional brought so much comfort; especially the section describing how we tend to talk of how God lead but forget to include the struggle of faith in between. Thank you for sharing! A definite encouragement!

  2. Ashton says:

    I’ve been doing my own study in Genesis and a friend introduced me to she reads truth. I finished up chapter 18 today, and decided to check out this website for my next bible study when I stumbled upon a study for one where I’m already at! God definitely spoke to me even more through this devotional and I just wanna say thank you for such sweet, true words!

  3. Yishi Teh says:

    I used to get caught up thinking I need to have faith or if I do something or make a certain decision would it mean that I don’t have faith in God? But during a sermon at church I heard that even Abraham though it was said he had faith, during the long time of waiting he agreed to try to have a son of his own with Hagar. Despite God telling him multiple times that he would have a son by Sarah. That certainly doesn’t seem like the awesome faith that we would think of right? The mercies of God are boundless and whatever little we bring, God counts it as faith. So I stopped worrying about the little details and trusted in God’s goodness. Even if we “missed” hearing His call or stumble during the time of waiting, there is no mistake we make that is too big for God to fix. His love never fails!

    1. Liz says:

      Love this! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Leanne Holguin says:

    I say I have faith in God and I believe I do…but the thought that faith isn’t faith if you can see where you are going really makes me think. I am a huge planner and the unknown stresses me out, but this is when we must trust in our faith and actually blindly have faith. It sounds so scary and I don’t want to be scared…right. Does fear come with faith?

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