Last week we took a look at the trustworthiness, or faithfulness of God. We explored God’s covenant with Abraham. God promised Abraham that He would bless him with a son and that all nations would be blessed through him.
But Abraham would never see that blessing completely realised. Abraham was not alive when Christ was born. So when Abraham trusted God to complete His promises, it was pretty monumental. Abraham didn’t have much to go on for proof. Before this, the promises we have recorded in the Bible are God’s first promise of a Savior in Genesis 3, God’s promise of protection to Cain in Genesis 4, and God’s salvation of Noah and his family and the promise that there would never be a flood of that magnitude ever again, in Genesis 6-9. Other than that, we only have genealogies. If God were to make a promise to us, we could look back on thousands of years of evidence that God is trustworthy and good. Abraham didn’t have that. That makes his faith all the more astounding
So Abraham had faith that God would do what He had promised. It was a crazy faith, because what God promised was crazy, and Abraham had no way of knowing how or when. I think the “when” of promises weighs upon us pretty heavily. You know, when you’re upset or sad, and people say, “It gets better!” our response is, “WHEN?” Or if you’re irreversibly single and it seems like you’ll never find that special someone, and Grandma says, “Oh, I’m sure you’ll find someone soon!” you think, “That’s nice, Grandma, but WHEN??”
When we see something good, we want it now. Instant gratification- that’s what our culture is about. We read God’s promises and our hands reach out and up and all different directions and we chant, “Now, now, NOW!!” When we receive a promise, we want a follow up immediately. Why should we have to wait? We’re promised these good things, so give them to us!
But God doesn’t operate on our time frame. I mean, why did God feel the need to wait thousands of years before sending the promised Savior to the earth? Why has He waited over two thousand years to return to His Church? What gives?
2 Peter 3:8 says, “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” And in Psalm 90:4, it says, “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.” Through the prophet Isaiah, God tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
God created everything. He made the laws of our world. He alone can understand the mysteries of the universe because He orchestrated them. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” God asks Job. “Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements- surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” [Job 38:4-7]. God has the ultimate authority over everything in the heavens and on earth, because He is the creator of all. And because He created everything, even linear time as we know it, He is above and outside of all. He does not experience time the way we do. A creator is always above his creation.
When God gives us a promise, He fulfills it. The timing, however, is up to Him. It may seem that God is not faithful because He does not immediately answer our prayers with a resounding, “Yes! I am going to give that to you right away!” Instead, He asks us to trust Him. We know He is trustworthy. God’s timing can never change who He is. He is still faithful even if we never see His promises come to fruition.
“Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart,
and wait for the Lord”