At The Appointed Time—Romans 9:9
"For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son" (Romans 9:9)
What a marvelous thing to operate in God's timing, because it is always perfect. Abraham and Sarah were well beyond the childbearing years when the promise first came to Abraham. He was in his eighties and Sarah in her seventies. At this time Abraham believed what God said and God credited his faith as righteousness, or right standing with him ( Genesis 15:6 ). However, he did not see this promise fulfilled through Isaac for another 13 plus years, but he stood on the promise of the Lord during this time because he knew that God was faithful. It was not until after he was circumcised along with his entire household that the Lord gave him a time frame for the promise. The Bible records that Ishmael was thirteen years old when they were circumcised ( Genesis 17:25 ). Genesis records shortly after, "Then the LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son." Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing" ( Genesis 18:10-11 ). When this happened Abraham was one hundred years old and Sarah was ninety, there was no doubt to anyone who witness this miracle that Isaac was the son promised by God because naturally speaking, conceiving a child was impossible at their age.
What is amazing about God's timing in this situation is that it removes any argument that Abraham had anything to do with it's fulfillment. They never had children and they were advanced in years. God had promised them more descents than they could count and it was only through Him that this came to be ( Genesis 15:5 ). God told Abraham that he was his shield and great reward and that he would not leave him without descends ( Genesis 15:1-5 ). Part of the promise to Abraham was that the Messiah would come through his line, so this promise of descents carried the weight of the world upon it ( Galatians 3:16 ). And fulfillment of it blessed the entire world, just as God said it would.
Isn't it great that God does everything in his timing? At the right time he provide Abraham with an heir and at the right time he introduced the Messiah to the world. Romans 5 says "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly" ( Romans 5:6 ). We were held captive under sin and the power of darkness and we were completely incapable of saving ourselves, so at the precise moment, Christ came and die for us so that we could be reconciled to the Father. The amazing thing about what Christ did for us, he did when we were enemies of God. We were opposed and against him because of our sin nature, "but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" ( Romans 5:8 ). Just like in our example of Abraham, his timing was perfect and no one can argue that what he did for us we could have done for ourselves.
Today, I am so blessed by the promises that have been fulfilled in Christ. I am glad that he did what I could not do and in doing so, reconciled me unto himself. I am thankful for Abraham's faith and obedience and I look forward to seeing God's perfecting timing work in my life in all circumstances. Today, may this revelation of God's faithfulness bless you, amen.
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Original article published January 8, 2010.