365 days with Newton

17 JULY

The promise confirmed

‘Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.’ Genesis 18:14
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Psalm 145:1–21

The design of this visit [by the three men] was to give a final confirmation to the promise, which was now near to an accomplishment and took place the next year. Abraham and Sarah were now both old and Sarah expressed her unbelief in a manner which showed she thought it was now impossible. For this she was reproved and weakly attempted to deny what she had said. The words of my text are added to satisfy both Abraham and Sarah that it should surely be so.
The observation that offers is this: the consideration of the power of God to make good his promises, is the great stay and support of faith under all difficulties. This was actually the support of Abraham. He staggered not because he considered that he who had promised was able also to perform [Romans 4:20–21]. And most of the fears and mistakes of the Lord’s people are owing to their not knowing or not considering the Scriptures and the power of God. Our expectations from the Lord’s power must, however, be limited by his promises, or we shall surely be disappointed. We are often so inconsistent that while we give up the hope of what is promised, we are looking for what is not. Some disquiet themselves because they cannot attain to such a complete deliverance from the effects of indwelling sin as the Scripture does not warrant us to look for. Some expect to be led just in the way they think others are led, or else suppose they cannot be right. But where has the Lord promised this as to particulars? Let us then notice how the promises run, how objections rise against them, and how we should arm ourselves with the question in my text.
FOR MEDITATION:
Yes! since God himself has said it,
As to all the doubts and questions,
On the promise I rely;
Which my spirit often grieve,
His good word demands my credit,
These are Satan’s sly suggestions,
What can unbelief reply?
And I need no answer give;
He is strong and can fulfil,
He would fain destroy my hope,
He is truth and therefore will.
But the promise bears it up.

SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 37 [2/4], GENESIS 18:14

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