“The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had promised.” Genesis 21:1 (NRSV)
Years ago when people would make deals with one another, a simple handshake was good enough to assure the parties that what was promised would be delivered. Years ago if a person made a promise, their word was their bond. Most people, if they had to wait 25 years for a person to make good on the deal or keep one’s promise, would write it off believing that their handshake or word was worth nothing. Our inability to trust others, to make good on the deal or to keep their word, has greatly contributed to our having become the litigious society that we are today.
Today’s scripture lesson is from Genesis Chapter 21 and it was in Genesis 12, “The Call of Abram” that we first hear that God will make of Abram a great nation, when at that time Abraham and Sarah had no heir. The events between these chapters stretch out over 25 years. Abram was 75 years old when God called him and Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for God to fulfill God’s promise to make them parents. Abraham was 100 years old when Sarah bore him their son, Isaac. Is it any wonder that they took drastic steps to insure that they would have an heir? God made a promise to them and God delivered it! God kept God’s promise and fulfilled it … in God’s time, not theirs!
Could you be trusted to fulfill the obligations of a deal without signing a contract?
If you make a promise, do you do your best to keep it?
Regrettably all of us may have contributed to the need for signing contracts and notes. These actions protect those who might take advantage of another’s good nature. These actions are often necessary to keep us honest. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could return to “those good old days” when a handshake and one’s word were the only things necessary to assure that a deal would be good and a promise would be kept.
The Good News is: What God Promises, God Delivers! Of course, we would do well to remember that what God promises, God delivers … in God’s Time, not ours!
Ever Faithful God, keep us mindful that what You promise, You deliver, but in Your time. Guard us from being impatient and help us to trust completely. Inspire us to keep our promises so that others trust us more. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.