The “Foolishness” of God

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

“Then Abraham fell upon his face, and 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?” (Genesis 17:17 KJV).

God claims that Abraham, at age 100, will father a child! Today’s Scripture documents Abraham’s response.

We often think of Abraham as a great man of faith, and rightly so (Hebrews 11:8-10). Nonetheless, Abraham was just as prone to sin as we are. When the LORD told him that his wife would give birth to his son, Abraham actually laughed (today’s Scripture)!

Over 20 years previous to today’s Scripture, God first made that promise of a son for Abraham through Sarah. But, Abraham grew so impatient that he hearkened to his wife’s advice and used her slave-girl, Hagar, as the surrogate mother, by whom he had his son Ishmael (Genesis 16:1-16).

In today’s Scripture, 13 years have passed since Ishmael’s birth. The son that God has promised Abraham still has not been born. Abraham was 86 years when Ishmael was born (Genesis 16:16). Now, Abraham is 99 years old (Genesis 17:1), and unquestionably, his body is unable to procreate. He is just too old to father a baby! And thus, he laughs at God’s Word.

Sarah, Abraham’s wife, upon learning she will bear Abraham’s child, also laughs because now, her body is too old to bear children! Genesis 18:11,12: “Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

About a year later, “And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so all that hear me will laugh with me” (Genesis 21:5,6). Interestingly, the name “Isaac” means “laughter; mockery.”

Amazing! Barren Sarah and sterile Abraham… parents thanks to Almighty God! God’s plans sometimes seem “foolish” to us (hence the laughter). But, they are always successful, and far wiser than anything we could ever devise! 🙂