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Volume 11 - Page 57 of 161 Index | Zoom | |
In Gen. 21: we read the simple yet sublime account of the fulfillment of God's
"And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as He had
spoken. For Sarah conceived and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of
which God had spoken to him.......and Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that
all that hear will laugh with me."
Here Sarah's laugh is the laugh of faith. She is however forcibly reminded of her
laugh of unbelief, for the context once more uses the word (this time translated "mock"),
"and Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had borne unto Abraham,
Not only is the promise of God entirely removed from the sphere of law and flesh, the
accident of time and the impatience of unbelief, but its essential characteristic and crown
is that it triumphs over DEATH.
The fact of Resurrection.
Rom. 4: displays the essential facts of resurrection both as regards Abraham's
personal faith, the title of God, and the essential element in justifying faith. Abraham's
personal faith. Which was easier to believe, that God in some far-off day would raise His
own Son from the dead, or to believe that there and then, Abraham and Sarah "as good as
dead" should be quickened into life? Abraham's faith is thus described:--
"Who against hope (humanly speaking), in hope believed, that he might become the
father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be, and
without growing weak in faith, he considered his own body now dead, when he was
about an hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb, he did not use doubtful
disputation in unbelief (cf. Rom. 14: 1) against the promise of God, but was strong in the
faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was
able also to perform, and therefore it was imputed for righteousness" (18-22).
This factor of resurrection re-appears in connection with Abraham's faith in
Heb. 11: 17-19:--
"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, and he that had received the
promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy
seed be called, accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead; from
whence also he received him in a figure."
The one title of God that is given in this passage (Rom. 4:) is "God Who quickeneth
the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were". Abraham's trust
was not in a blind impersonal Providence, not in the Almighty whose name is uttered by
the despairing, and forgotten when the storm is passed, but the God of resurrection. This
title of God before all others is the one which all believers to-day must recognize. Only
as such can He be our Father; only as such can He be the God of hope, of peace, of all
comfort, of patience, of glory. None of the glorious promises enshrined in the Divine
titles can ever be realized or enjoyed apart from the resurrection. The Old Testament
saints were taught this; the land of promise was theirs in resurrection: "they all died in