They were in a grim, desperate situation - it’d be vain to try and deny it. Day-by-day, year-by-year what little hope they had was melting away, burning like morning’s dew under a relentless desert sun. Abram’s arms were thrown wide around his wife’s heaving shoulders, Sarai’s breath haphazardly catching itself between rolling sobs of pain. His eyes, shot red with grief, sullenly circled the tent stretched wide about them. Fine skins were strewn about in one corner, tiny gold cups sparkled away in the waning torchlight, small specks of spice danced out of their bowls as the breeze flowed freely through. The beauty of it all astounded him; it broke him. All this, all that I have received in 75 years of life and no sweet child of mine to give it to… how terribly cruel this world truly is.
But, thankfully, the final voice to speak would not be Abram’s - the Lord was up to something profound, something unbreakable. In Genesis 12:1-2 the Word of the Lord came in awesome power to Abram and proclaimed to him, “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Here it is, the man utterly devoid of lasting legacy will be established by the Lord to have a heritage that will impact every single family of the earth.
The Word comes to Abram again and pushes promise to an even greater, richer depth. In Genesis 22:17 the Lord commits, “I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offsprings as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore.” The promises of God to Abram, who would later become known as Abraham by the Lord’s grace, were irrevocable and unstoppable; neither Abraham’s age, his faltering obedience, or Sarah’s doubt would destroy what the Lord had set to establishing.
Here at Advent we celebrate the God who keeps His Word. We acknowledge an even more incredible birth: the Son of God Incarnate. And, we resound in joy that the Lord has kept His promises to us - that the Serpent lies crushed beneath His feet.
Hallelujah - our God keeps His promises forevermore!