God's Promises - No Laughing Matter
God keeps his promises.
The Lord was gracious to Sarah, just as he had said he would be. He did for Sarah what he had promised to do. Sarah became pregnant. She had a son by Abraham when he was old. He was born at the exact time God had promised him. Genesis 21:1-2 (NIV)
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Every week, we come together and study the stories we find in this book. (Hold up the Bible.) When you think of the Bible, do you think of a book full of laughter and humor? Well, today's Bible lesson is one that caused the main characters to laugh. It is the story of Abraham and Sarah.
The story begins when Abraham was 99 years old. God spoke to Abraham and told him that his wife, Sarah, would be blessed and have a son. The Bible tells us that Abraham fell on the ground laughing and said to himself, "Can a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?"
God reassured Abraham, saying, "Yes, you wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac."
Sometime later, Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent. He looked up and sway three men standing nearby. When he saw the men, he went to them and said, "Please, stay a while with me. I will bring some water to wash your feet. You can rest under the trees. I will get some food for you, and you can eat as much as you want. Then you can continue your journey.”
The three men answered, "Do as you wish."
So, Abraham went to Sarah and told her to bake some bread and they prepared a meal for the men. Abraham brought the food to the men and was about to serve them when they asked, "Where is your wife Sarah?"
Abraham answered, "She is in the tent."
One of the men said, "I will come again in the spring. At that time, your wife Sarah will have a son."
Sarah was listening in the tent and heard what the man said. She laughed to herself and said, "I am old, and my husband is old. I am too old to have a baby."
Then the Lord said to Abraham, "Sarah laughed and said she was too old to have a baby. Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will come again in the spring, just as I said I would, and your wife Sarah will have a son."
Sarah said, "I didn’t laugh!"
Then the Lord said, "That is not true. You did laugh!" Then the three men got up to leave.
The next year, the Lord came back to visit Sarah just as he had said he would. When he returned, Sarah had been blessed with a son, just as he had promised. Abraham and Sarah named their son Isaac just as God had told him. Do you know what that name means? It means, "He laughed."
What do we learn from today's lesson? We learn to have patience that God will keep his promises—even if it takes a hundred years! We also learn that nothing is too difficult for God—even when his promises may make us want to laugh.
Father, help us to trust in you and to remember that you will keep your promises to us, just as you kept your promise to Abraham and Sarah. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.