April 22 I Thursday
2 Samuel 14-15
“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
From the opening verse, did we notice the time gap between the birth of Ishmael and when God reappeared to Abram? There was a period of silence. For 13 years Abram and Sarai believed that the plan with Hagar had worked; God had provided an heir for him to pass down his legacy. But 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 to the miraculous birth of a child to Sarai unless it was explained by God Himself.
In the New Testament, Paul recorded this story in Romans 4:18-21, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed...Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead––since he was about a hundred years old––and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith…being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.”
God waited for Abram’s weakness to grow before the promise came to pass. We need to embrace our weakness and rest in God’s strength. The gospel is all about this reality: we are saved not because of what we did, but because of what Christ did on the cross.
Ultimately, we live our Christian life in dependence upon Christ at work within us. Paul referred to the reality of embracing weakness through his own ministry. He wrote, “[Christ] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Instead of trying to live for Christ, we are meant to live in Christ, in His power and in His resources.
Are we living in the sufficiency of who God is or are we trying to live in self-sufficiency? Do we depend upon God’s power or do we live by our own power? God did not let the disobedience of Abram and Sarai be the end of the story; instead, He graciously stepped into their lives, reaffirming His covenant and reassuring them of His faithfulness.
Prayer: Powerful God, in Your strength alone do I find the power. You alone are all sufficient for me. Thank You, God.