Jumping right in I will tell you that I believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God. What the Bible says is wholly useful and completely true and trustworthy. It is a guide not only to salvation but to all life. God’s word has purpose and will not return to Him void. It will accomplish what He said it would and prosper in the thing to which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11). Every single word is true and important as all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man (and woman) of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
So, there is not one text, one Scripture, one story, one word that we can dismiss as untrue or unimportant – even those that, in our “humanness,” we struggle to understand, to wrap our brains around, to make sense of.
Case in point – Abraham and Sarah.
Both wanted a child. Both were old. Really old. Yet, God promised Abraham that He would bless Sarah and give Abraham a son by her (Genesis 17:16). Abraham laughed, and “said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear (17:17)?
Like Abraham, we might be inclined to laugh, too, when we read their story. A ninety-year old mom? Seriously? Seriously!!! Because God has many lessons in Abraham and Sarah’s story – lessons for them then and for us now. Lessons even in Abraham’s laughter. While our laughter in a situation such as this might be a “you’ve got to be kidding” laughter, Abraham’s was a laughter of delight, not of distrust. Laughter of joy, not jest.
Likely, delight and joy might not be our first emotions – even after years of wanting a baby. You and I (at least I) would more likely be inclined to start considering ALL the reasons that this just could not happen. Surely I would consider my age – 99! I would consider, if not the impossibility, certainly the difficulty of birth at that age. I would consider the limited functioning of my body at that age. I would consider my limited strength, patience, health, coordination, mental faculties… I would consider the lack of family support (my mom would be 130 and not exactly up for babysitting). I would consider the chances that my baby would suffer deformities. I would consider my finances (a baby on retirement income?). I would consider the impact on my time and how my day-to-day functioning would need to change.
Abraham never considered his body or Sarah’s. His life or hers. Rather, he considered God – His strength, His power, His promises, His provision and His faithfulness.
Whatever we face, our first consideration should be our God. Romans 4:20 (ESV) tells us that Abraham never doubted that God would do what He promised; he never stopped believing. Rather, he grew stronger in his faith and just praised God, laughing in delight.
What do you need? Consider our God, then laugh in delight knowing He can do exceedingly and abundantly more than you could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)!