Passage: Genesis 17:1-27 Speaker: Pastor Lukus Counterman Series: By Faith
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - If an elderly, grey-headed, wrinkled couple in their eighties or nineties showed up at church one Sunday and said they were still holding out for the promise of a child, a wise pastor or staff member might refer them to counseling. The absurdity of their hope would be considered pathological, not faithful. And yet repeatedly throughout Scripture, God promises seemingly impossible things. He portrays himself as a deliverer, a rescuer, a provider, a healer, and more – and he seems to set the stage with extreme situations to make his intervention all the more remarkable. The impossibilities of Scripture highlight God’s power to overcome them. Jesus stated it this way, (Matthew 19:26) “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” In the story of Abram and Sarai, the God of the impossible shows his strength by announcing that the old couple would have a son named Isaac. In Genesis 17, we find that the son of promise would come through Sarai not Hagar. And who would accomplish this miracle - none other than God Almighty, El Shaddai. This chapter records the Lord’s pledge of the promise to Abram and Sarai by changing their names, and the Lord’s instruction for the sign of the covenant. Both the new names and the new sign called for faith in the God of the impossible. Let’s see how this covenant unfolds, and how God seals his promise with a sign.