God's Promise Kept
I think every one of us has guilty pleasures you have guilty pleasures things that you kind of enjoy their kind of silly, but you like them.
Icees flavor ice that silly little plastic thing. I like them. So guilty pleasure. My daughter bought those as a snack for us this week. It was wonderful. Especially Cherry ones. I just really like them. So guilty little silly little pleasure. There's another little pleasure that I like in life. I like waiting in line at the grocery store. Do you know why I like what the waiting line because I will never buy those newspapers that are right at the grocery store check in but I like reading all the headlines. I always think they're kind of funny, you know, occasionally. I'm thinking that one's good. Maybe I should pick it up. Maybe you know, maybe it will be worth reading my favorite. One of all time was Pastor instantaneously combusted while preaching about hell. Is that a great pleasure, you know. The story in the Bible that we're going to read today could be one of those headlines. It could be one of those things, you know. 90 year old woman gives birth to son named Sam laughter You know, actually the word is crack up. You know, you ghetto. You know, it is a crazy story that we're going to read today. It really could be that thing that you can enjoy reading. And now of all of you are going to take a little extra time. When you go through the grocery line to read what the mirror has to say.
The last time God spoke to Sarah. He told her at age 89 that sometime during that year. He was coming back to visit because she was going to give birth to son. Remember that was she responded by laughing because it sounded so crazy. And God said that he would return and then that would be what they name their son. Crack up. What a funny name, you know, have you ever thought about some people's name? Thought if you ever met somebody and they introduce themselves in your like what were your parents thinking?
You know. Hi, my name is crack up.
You know, I'd like you to meet my little brother giggle.
Oregon have a Snicker together Genesis chapter 21 the Lord visited Sarah as he had said and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. I think we need to underline those verses in our Bible the Lord did as he had promised. Don't you want that kind of thing in your life in a couple places where you prayed and all the sudden you realize how the Lord did what he had promised.
Even though it seems crazy even though it seems like just an article for the paper the Lord did what he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age and at the time which God had spoken to him.
And Abraham called the name of his son was born to him who Sarah bore him Isaac. now chapter 21 is an interesting chapter because chapter 21 would really play pretty well as a three-act play
I really would. And in between each of the three scenes will have a commercial. Okay, because that's kind of what would happen and we'll try to sell you some drug that when you listen to what the drug is going to do to you. You're like, why am I ever going to use this drug? Even though you're saying this is a very pleasant voice.
Secede one is it God did exactly what he said, right God did what he had promised and all of a sudden a 90 year old woman is glowing in her pregnancy, you know.
What he didn't do what you promised and just give them an adopted child. She went through the pregnancy. She craved pickles. She went through those experiences. She got to that point where you just don't feel comfortable on if one more person tells you that you look bigger going to slap them. She went through all of those experiences in her old age. Not only that but this was before formula and she breastfed her, baby. a 90 year old woman You know, I'm sure there were many times that she was out with that baby and and people would say isn't this need Grandma's spending some time with their grandson. And she would smile and say no. He's mine. Is my baby? What's his name? Crack up? Laughter is his name. You know what God does something that only God can do in a way that he does it and when we experience those promises all of a sudden our faithfulness changes because of what we've experienced in God's faithfulness all the sudden because when we experience got doing something that only God could do in a way that only God could do it and circumstances that are kind of beyond our control if there's something that we waited 25 years war think about that. He made this promise to them back in chapter 12, which was 25 years ago. Even when God finally comes through it is an absolutely amazing thing and we are completely blown away by the fact that God is done with only he can do And we respond the first way that faithfulness responses it motivates our obedience. Remember the third time that God explain the promise and he said and there's going to be the specials procedure that every male has to go through. To be a part of this promised. All of a sudden eight days later that says that an Abraham circumcise his son Isaac when he was 8 days old as the Lord commanded him. I'll listen because he's experienced this big thing. You didn't question Ali this little thing that he was supposed to do. Now. I have met people who know that the God is asking them to do a little thing and they're really struggling with it. You know, why? Because they haven't experienced the joy of the bigger promise that makes a little bit of a medians. Not that big a deal.
Think about in your life. Are you struggling with the one little area of obedient? Maybe it's because you forgot about the big promise.
Because there was this big promise I'll listen that motivated him. In fact, not only faithfulness isn't motivated to his obedient, but it brings to life. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born to him, you know, so is this your great-great grandson? No, He's my son. What do you mean?
Weird. Yeah, that that be kind of how it is you read on and it says this and Sarah said God has made laughter for me and everyone who hears will laugh over me. Yeah, they were laughing. You know, I think that probably there were a lot of different kind of laughter's and Snickers have you realized that some laughter is not kind and there is that belly laugh that we have together that we long for that we enjoy but then there's other times that laughter just really hurts. Doesn't it? Sarah was talking about the fact this makes me happy. This makes me laugh, but I know that other people are going to be laughing at me. Instead of with me had a friend just found out they're having their sixth child. There were polite laughter around the announcement.
Along with an explanation of biology in shouldn't you know better?
Reese's but I just feel like God was we're supposed to have one more. I said did your wife feel that way? Yeah, that's awesome.
But there's those ways that laughter Cuts both ways. But there is that sense of real Delite. I'll give an example this week. I had that experience.
Eyelid happy hour for the Business Association this week. They asked me to MC it. I did really well. We accomplished exactly what we wanted to and I left there with the sense of delight because I got to do it got it called me to do.
One of the guys came up to me afterwards and says you're pretty good. This public speaking. Thanks. What the lean on you a little more often?
the light for 7 and she said who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse at children yet? I have borne him a son in his old age. Do you notice such these deflecting here? She didn't say I had assumed when I'm old had his son when he was old.
And the child grew up and was weaned and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. You know, remember all the things we used to celebrate when our kids were little You know, it's like Facebook do they rolled over? Yo, I think they said Daddy today. You don't all those kinds of things. This is a big deal. His little toddler son was no longer. Just needing mom all the time. Maybe he did some time with him now and with her. But it was a time of Celebration. Someone great is God's faithfulness. He keeps his promises.
meet a 90 year old Mama Bear, okay.
But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian whom she had born born who she had born to Abraham laughing now. This passage doesn't explain really what's going on here. If you read in the book of Galatians, you read a little bit more about this in chapter 4
The big brother was picking on the little brother. And he was making fun of him. Oh, you're finally grown up enough that you don't need your mommy all the time. You know, you don't know exactly what was going on. It's it's normal, you know, we had a child a little later in life David and when he was about four years old, I asked one of his brothers. I said, what's up? What's it like having a little brother? He looked at me. He says it's kind of like having a pet.
You know he's there and you can reach out and touch him every once in awhile, but you don't have to really talk to him or you can ignore him if you want.
But there was a rivalry was going on because ishbia was the only son for a long time probably spend a lot of time with his dad and all of a sudden 13 years later. Isaac comes onto the scene and there's is all this drama about Isaac because blah blah blog God gave them to him blah blah blah Miracle blah blah blah be out of line is I'm jealous. I'm hurting. and all the sudden Mama Bear catchers
the other child treating her special son orally You see here's the part that's hard about faithfulness is sometimes faithfulness causes crisis. Okay, sometimes of God keeps his promise when he does exactly what we want God to do the problem with that promise. Sometimes is it there is collateral damage that goes along with that process of promise. This is make sense. Sometimes even though we pray and pray and pray and we see God do this amazing thing in the midst of that amazing thing. There's something about that thing that also bring sorrow or pain or frustration.
And we don't know how to handle that really well. Sometimes we were surprised by it. Because when we think when God answers a prayer then then it's Disneyland, right and everything's okay then it's Pollyanna. Everything's okay, but in the midst of God answering prayer and doing amazing things there is always collateral damage and part of the reason there's collateral damage is because there were other times in her life that we didn't completely obey God and we didn't do what he said. It's a part of the reason that we create drama in the middle of God's promise is that we created ourselves.
Sometimes our lack of faithfulness makes times. God is faithful harder.
and seem to faithfulness causes a crisis
and in that crisis Sarah has a chat with Abraham. Cast out the slave woman with her son for the son of this Slaves Shall Not Be the air with my son Isaac. I'm not going to put up with this. I'm drawing a line and there's nothing like an upset Mama Bear is there. I never tried to talk Mama Bear Down.
She might not take out who'd she needs to but she might take you out.
scripture tells us but this thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of what his son and not his son Isaac. What his son Ishmael?
You know when Mom is not happy ain't nobody happy.
Mom is not happy. And Abraham is in hard situation.
Abraham could explain the obvious to to Sarah right now. Hey, I never wanted this you're the one that you're the one that gave we hate her. This was your idea.
You treated her poorly God brought her back. That's just how things are.
but in the middle of the crisis sometimes God calls for heart obedience, but God said to Abraham be not display it displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman, whatever Sarah says to you do as she tells you for though. I for through Isaac show your Offspring be named. Some people might want to underline that it says whatever your wife says to do do as she tells you.
This was taking place right after the great celebration the big party. My toddler boy is growing up. But in the middle of this incredible celebration comes crisis in sadness.
When Abraham has to do something really hard you'll end the crisis comes that kind of obedience isn't as easy as it. When the crisis comes and God said this is what you need to do. And in your mind you're trying to think. Okay. Is there another way is there another way to do this? Is there a plan B. Is there a plan C if that doesn't work is it I just don't want to do plan A. I don't want to do this thing. Man, I can't even enjoy the promise because this thing is in the way of the promise. We never had this experience Dewey. Where it seems like life collides into the promised and we're just like can I have one more day before the crisis?
vagina has more to say
and I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman because he is your offspring. You see one of the things that I think that we get into our mind. Is it somehow the crisis limits God's faithfulness and God's blessing. You know. We get this idea that we have messed up and we've already ruined the party and that will never party against.
When we feel like that and we limit that and we get stuck in the right of that and we realized that okay. I created this mess. I'm sure Abraham is thinking that I created this mess and there's no way out but God is giving an interesting way out he say hey, you know what? I'm going to apply my promises to you to this son as well, but you need to let you listen to your wife and you need to let him go.
Bruce Wharton so Abraham Rose early in the morning and took bread in a skin of water and gave it to Hagar and putting it on her shoulder along with the child and send him away and she's just farted. She departed wandering in the wilderness of Bathsheba.
This is an interesting verse. read a whole bunch of different ideas about this verse the best idea is this because God bleeped because Abraham believed so much in what was going on he chose to get out of the way. Okay, God you're going to turn him into a great nation. I'm just going to send them on their way. And you know, you're thinking Abraham was an incredibly rich man, wasn't he he could at least give him one camel a donkey, you know a couple pieces of silver cuz he got a bunch from the king of you know, abimelech just a while ago. But he just sends them on their way. I think that this is hard in life. Sometimes I feel like sometimes in the middle of the crisis, especially when we caused the prices. We feel like we got to help God out. And so we got to finance rescue. And we got to take care of all the details of rescue. What's the commentary the touch my heart the most as I read it said this this is not a sign of foolishness. This is a belief in God's faithfulness in the same way. God gave me a child when I should have never had a child. Give God promise me that this son is going to be a great nation. I don't have to finance him being a great nation. I just have to listen to what God is calling me to do. So I'm going to give him a bottle of water and a piece of bread and I'm going to send them out in the desert and he's going to be okay. This is the problem that we have so much of the time especially when we feel personally responsible. I struggle with this all the time so often my kids will be going through a crisis and I'll be just thinking I'm somehow responsible for this. How do I fix this? Who do I know? How do I leverage this moment that all these different kinds of things? Instead of just saying God, what do you want me to do?
I just want you to send them away. And I will keep my promise and I will do something great. Now at this point I would want to ask. How you going to do it. I need details. You need to explain yourself to me. God Of Heaven. You know who you're talking to? I need more information. And if you feel that way.
I think that there are times in crisis. When the way that we're supposed to be faithful can appear foolish to a bunch of other people.
and some of us are so caught up in either the real audience or the imaginary audience that we have a people that are somehow helping us make decisions that at that moment we get stuck.
Because she not only is it a time for faith that may look foolish, but it's also a Time. We're God might want to do something. So when the water in the skin was gone. She put the child under one of the bushes. They ran out of water and they were out of bread and he was starting to look not so good. And so she did the only thing that she knew to do if she found a little bit of shade and she put ishmeal underneath that shade because that's the only thing that she could do. There was nothing else you could do. She couldn't make water she couldn't make bread out of sand and so the crisis all the sudden was great and it says that you did this and when she sat down opposite him a good way off about the distance of a bow shot for she said, let me not look on the death of the child, you know, she's seeing him. This is interesting cuz this is the language of a mother she's talking about. This is my baby. My baby, I can't watch my baby die. I need to get away from here. I got to get away from my baby. And you look at that language and you think my goodness I ishmeal was only 4 years old, but he wasn't he was 16, but you know what? He was still mommy's baby. Wasn't he and Mommy still wanted to take care of her baby and I can't watch this happen to my baby. And she sat opposite of him and she lifted her voice and she wept.
And God heard the voice of the boy and then the angel of the Lord came to Hagar from heaven and said to her what troubles you Hagar. You're not for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. You see the thing that we need to understand is that God likes the crisis because he can create a solution.
It is interesting here. He didn't say to Hagar. He said what's up with you? What do you think? He doesn't even speak to her. He speaks to the thing. That's breaking her heart. I have heard your boy.
You know, he's already been Bar Mitzvah. He would be considered a man, you know. But she's hearing the heart of him.
up lift the boy and hold him fast with your hand for I will make him into a great nation. This is kind of an interesting thing. Okay. How are you going to do this? Instead of hiding from what you consider a problem. I want you to go and get him up. Because I'm going to turn him into a great nation. Then God opened her eyes and she saw well of water and she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
Sometimes the solution is there. But God wants it to be divine and the only way it can be defined as if we don't see it until he tells us it's there.
You know, I think it's some of us are in scene 2 we we've had seen one happen in our lives. We have haven't we God has kept some amazing promises to us. We have no problem even speaking of the promises. We sing the song Great Is Thy Faithfulness in her eyes messed up because we know that God has been faithful but now all the sudden in the middle of God's faithfulness. There is this crisis and there's as collateral damage and the reason it's there is because we are sinners and we do really stupid things and we make it harder for God.
Last week we talked about how Romans 8:28 even applies to our sinfulness and her stupidness, right? He will work all things together. And so now God is in the process in this crisis that was caused by a lapse in believing in his faithfulness. God is divine and he's reaching in 420 and God was with the boy and he grew up and he lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. And he lived in the wilderness of Paran and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
You see Abraham didn't have to be God. He just needed to be faithful so that God could be God. That's the point of a crisis the point of a crisis isn't you being God the point of crisis of the collateral damage of those things that seem like a lap in the last or a blip in the promise is because God wants to be God and God wants to be God not just for Abraham not just for special people. Okay. That's why the story is so cool. Because it could have ended like this and when God saw ishmeal making fun of Isaac, he struck him dead and he died. It could have been that simple that could have been a solution, right?
And because Sarah was somewhat foolish and giving Hagar to Abraham Hagar and Ishmael became a boil and a frustration to Sarah for the rest of her life. This could be the other ends to the story, right? But instead God stepped in. And did what only God could do and God wasn't just faithful to the Abraham's in life. But God was faithful to the mistakes of the Abraham's in life. that seemed to
some of us need that to realize that there is no way we can manipulate the present situation. There's nothing that we can do to make it right but God somehow can step in. I had this breath of air this week about a situation that I have been frustrated by and didn't understand and didn't know what's going on and it happened by somebody coming to rent a bouncy house.
In the middle of renting this bouncy house Nancy was going through the contract and doing all that kind of stuff and begin this conversation in this person explained that they used to go to church and they were thinking about coming back to church so she dragged him right over to my office and when she dragged him over to my office, I started having a conversation with him and I found out where he worked. And in the process of that it started asking him some questions and all the sudden it gave me an answer to something that had been troubling me and help me have faith in a situation where I've been incredibly cynical. All because God brought somebody into the church that wanted to have a birthday party.
God created a moment of divine. interruption that I desperately needed
in the middle of what looks like chaos to me and crisis in the life of someone that I left.
We're not going to do scene 3 cuz there is a third scene will pick that up next week.
But I pray for each of us. I pray for each of us. First of all that we will get the enjoyment of stopping to wait. How many of you would like to stop waiting for something that you feel like spend promise to you or you'd like to see God do how many how many are there do I hear you? Yeah, you know and so the idea of 25 years you'd like all of that kind of waiting.
How many if you've lost hope? because faithfulness created a crisis God's faithfulness created a crisis
how many of us are willing to be foolish? Leave room for God to intervene.
I don't know what to senior living. And there's one or two more next week as we continue in this.
But I'm glad that God is writing his story instead of people. Just writing there's aren't you? Anyone in my life and in your life, I am praying that God is writing his story as well. In the story always Begins the same way. His Story begins with you willing to accept the fact that unless you enter the story of the Cross you can't have the blessing of God And you ask him to be your personal Savior and you say I can't see myself. I can't figure this out myself. I need your help. I need a savior and I need a Lord and I need someone to submit to instead of thinking that I'm in charge. Begins with the cross your story has to intersect with that. It begins by you asking Jesus Christ to be your savior. And it says for by grace. Are you saved through faith? You believe that God can do that for you. That's where the Story begins you've never asked Jesus to be your personal savior. That's where your story could begin. Buy just you simply decided today. I'm going to trust in Jesus. The help intersect my story and take even the foolishness of my life. And by divine intervention turn it into something glorious that only he can do. What's bran?
You've never made that decision and today would be the day that you would like to ask you this Christ to be your personal savior. You want that story to your story? What you just nod your head and say yeah, I need a savior today.
God I need you to be my savior.
for the rest of you for those of you who are waiting or maybe even finding chrysis in the promises.
Will you believe in the god? They can write better headlines than are on the mirror. Will you believe in the god that can do crazier things than you can ever think or imagine? We Believe again today in a God who says my ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts We believe in a God that even if he hasn't kept his promises, you know, he will. So even in the littlest things in life, you will obey him and trust in him. because he is a good God and he knows what's best for you. I'm in the crisis in your own life in the crisis. Is those around you will you believe today?
That he can divinely intervene. And work out a better plan than any collateral damage that were afraid that exist.
God sometimes when we see places where you have been faithful in or you haven't answered prayer it helps us. Helps us just obey you easier and trust you more. But some of us are in crisis. some of us feel wounded
disqualified and yet you took the craziest things from Abraham and Sarah's life. And turn them to good even when they made bad decisions. God we want the same for our lives. Be the miracle worker in the mess that we live in. We pray this in your name. amen Thank you for being here today. Thank you for being a part of the miracle that God wants to work in Lake Placid and the North Country around us. You are loved and you are blessed. Have a great day.