September 24 I Monday
Song of Solomon 4-5
“Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.”
When God first told Abraham he would be a father, he and Sarah were already 75 and 65 years old. With the promise of God ringing in their ears, no one would blame them for thinking the baby would be along in nine months, but to no avail. Month after month, year after year, their disappointment must have grown until, after 10 years, they experienced a crisis of faith. When a scared Abraham admitted his doubt that he would not have descendants and that a servant would inherit his estate, God reaffirmed His covenant. “Look up at the sky and count the stars,” He said, “if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be” (Genesis 15:5). But like God’s promise, His schedule remained unchanged. It was another 15 years before Isaac, the promised son, was born.
This timing seems odd from a human standpoint. Why did God wait until Abraham was 75 to establish His covenant with him? Why make Abraham and Sarah wait another 25 years before she gave birth? Abraham’s family (and the nation of Israel) could have been established far sooner had God fast-forwarded His plan 10, 20 or even 40 years, so why wait?
We can speculate, but what is sure is that God works on a very different calendar than us. We tend to view things in terms of our own lives and perspectives, as though we are the fixed point around which things happen, but God’s timetable involves much more than us or our interests. Isaiah writes, “Woe to those...who say, ‘Let God hurry; let Him hasten His work so that we may see it. The plan of the Holy One of Israel—let it approach, let it come into view so that we may know it’” (Isaiah 5:18-19). It is tempting to want to urge God along when we share the Gospel or serve in a ministry because we want to see the fruit, but God is never in a hurry. His timing is best, even if the fruit comes decades later and we never see it.
At 99 and 89, God affirmed again that Abraham and Sarah would have a son. Sarah laughed when she heard, but God replied, “Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son” (Genesis 18:14). Exactly one year later, after all their fear and impatience, God fulfilled His promise right on schedule—not Abraham’s schedule, but God’s. Though His timing may seem strange to us, we can trust that when God says something will happen, it will, no matter how long it takes.
Prayer: Eternal God, thank You for being faithful and for fulfilling Your plans at exactly the right times. Help me to wait on Your timing and to trust You in the meantime.