The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, "I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore... and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."
~ Genesis 22: 15 - 18
One of the things that we witness today is the covenant that God made with Abraham all those years ago. Even before Isaac had been born, and prior to Sara giving her handmaid servant, Hagar, to her husband, God had made a covenant with Abraham that his descendants would number the stars.
After he took Isaac into the woods and prepared an altar, and was willing to sacrifice his son to God, an angel appeared to Abraham and reminded him of the original covenant.
God's covenants with humanity are as vast and great as God's options for us.
One of the greatest joys that any of us can have is when we encounter the reality that God will never abandon us, and that God will always love us.
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe that God is always pleased with our efforts! Let's face it, there are some pretty frightening things going on in the world. For me to believe that God loves the people who are causing wars, and other acts that leave people fragmented and broken, I struggle to remember that they too are God's creation and children.
Scripture reminds us that when God makes a promise with us, God keeps it!
Rarely do we talk about the God of the Jews and Muslims as being OUR God as well.
The promises of God and for God's children remain, and some are long-lived. For instance, after the flood God promises to never flood the earth again and places a rainbow in the heavens to remind us of that promise.
Abraham, years ago, sends Hagar and her son out into the desert when Sara becomes jealous. The two do not die. God remains faithful, even to them, and the promise that God made with Abraham concerning the number of descendants is fulfilled.
One of the promises that God has made with us is one that I hold in my heart with each breathe, and that is, "I will be with you, ALWAYS." (Matthew 28:20)
For any of us, the promises of God are our promises. They are greater than the promises of humanity, and will continue unto eternity.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear God, help me to remember that promises that You have made with humanity also includes me! Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.