Song of Solomon 4-5
“Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael. When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him…” —Genesis 16:16-17:1
Did you notice the gap in the opening verse between the birth of Ishmael and when God reappeared to Abram? For 13 years, there was a period of silence. Abram and Sarai believed that the plan with Hagar had worked; God had provided Abram an heir to pass down his legacy. This begs the question, why did God wait so long before stepping back into the story? Simply put, God was waiting for their strength to give out, for them to come to the end of their resources and abilities. He waited until there would be no other explanation about the miraculous birth of a child to Sarai unless it was explained by God Himself.
Now, at the age of ninety-nine, God again restates His covenant with Abram: “I will make My covenant between Me and you and will greatly increase your numbers….No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:2-8).
Do we see how many “I will” statements God said there? “I will make the covenant. I will make you fruitful. I will make nations of you. I will establish My covenant. I will give the land of Canaan to you and your descendants. I will be their God.” These were not things Abraham would do, but God, who is sufficient, did.
God did not let the disobedience of Abraham and his wife be the end of the story; instead, He graciously stepped into their lives, reaffirming His covenant and reassuring them of His faithfulness. The Gospel is about this same reality: we are saved not because of what we did, but because of what Christ did on the cross. Likewise, we are now meant to live in Christ, His power and His resources. As Jesus said to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
Ultimately, we live our Christian life in dependence upon Christ at work within us. Are we trying to live in self-sufficiency, or are we living in the sufficiency of who He is?
PRAYER: Lord God, You alone are all-sufficient. Thank You for being my strength and for always being faithful to the promises You have made. Praise You!