GEMS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT
“And the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying,
“Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?” Is anything too hard for the Lord?’”
Outside the tent the men were talking. Inside the tent, near the entrance, Sarah was listening. When she heard one of the visitors tell Abraham, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son” (Genesis 18:10), Sarah laughed. A silent, skeptical laugh. Yet, God heard her laughter and rebuked her, asking, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
God asks us this same question, not only when times are good, but also amid times of pain, suffering, failure, and loss. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Well, is it?
No Promise Is Too Hard
for the Lord to Fulfill
By the time the visitors arrived at Abraham’s tent, Abraham and Sarah had been waiting for a promised son for twenty-five years. Abraham was now one hundred; Sarah was ninety. Both were decades beyond the age of childbearing. Besides this, Sarah was barren and unable to have children. No wonder she laughed skeptically. Yet, through all the years of waiting and all the impossible circumstances, God was teaching Abraham and Sarah a powerful lesson: Nothing is too hard for the Lord. God kept His promise. Sarah had a son.
God has made many promises to us as well. He has promised to love us eternally, to provide for us daily, to forgive our sins when we turn to Him in repentance and faith, and to bring us safely from grace to glory. And He will keep each of these promises. If the history of Abraham and Sarah is not enough to convince us of that, remember, God also promised to send a Savior, and He did. The fulfillment of this greatest of promises, the coming of Christ, is the guarantee that God will keep all His other promises. As Paul reminded the Corinthians, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV)
No Problem Is Too Hard
for the Lord to Solve
Sarah was elderly and barren. Was this problem too hard for the Lord? No. As promised, Sarah became pregnant and nine months later was nursing Isaac and changing diapers.
When the Israelites were stranded at the Red Sea, pursued by Pharaoh’s army, was this problem too hard for the Lord? No. God parted the Red Sea and the Israelites passed through on dry ground. And later, when the Israelites complained about having no food and no water in the wilderness, was this problem too hard for the Lord? No. God rained bread from heaven and provided water from a rock.
When the world was lost and condemned through the fall into sin, was even this problem too hard for the Lord? No. God sent His Son to be our Savior. God punished Jesus to save us.
God has said, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalm 50:15) Is this passage true or not? Is God all-powerful or not? If we think any problem in life is too hard for the Lord, perhaps we’ve forgotten how God gave Abraham and Sarah a son, how God changed Saul the Persecutor into Paul the Apostle, and how God in grace saved each one of us. To quote Jesus, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Mark Weis is pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Lemmon, South Dakota.