Hope to Carry On: February 27, 2024

Lenten Devotional Book 2024

Read: Romans 4:13-25

“In hope he [Abraham] believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations; as he had been told, ‘So shall your descendants be’… That is why his faith was ‘reckoned to him as righteousness.’” -Romans 4:18

I am admittedly rolling my eyes at Abraham being this huge example of trust because he and Sarah gave her servant Hagar to him for him to impregnate instead of waiting for Sarah to conceive. Being the origin of the Ishmaelites through Hagar’s son Ishmael in addition to the Israelites through Sarah does make him the father of multiple nations, but it was probably not the way God intended it to happen. Did God work through Sarah’s womb and allow her to bear Issac? Yes, but shouldn’t Abraham have waited patiently for that to happen? Maybe. Not having a direct heir would have been a scary thing for him because of the idea of his line ending with him, and I can understand trying to hedge his bets a bit.

While he did try to hedge his bets by having the child with Hagar, he *DID* at least trust in his abilities to get *SOMEONE* pregnant and didn’t laugh at the angels as Sarah did. I think he trusted that God was going to provide him an heir, but he was fuzzy on the details. Unfortunately, I do the same thing. What gives me hope in this passage is that Abraham had a level of skepticism as I often do, and he is still held up as a great example of faith. There is hope for me yet.

Help us to trust in your providence, O God, even when we aren’t entirely sure how things will work. Amen.
-Jen McCabe