Abraham’s Promise Filled Name
Our God is a God of promises. God promised to lead Abram into a special land, and He did. He promised to protect Abram, and He did even when he got into trouble with the king of Egypt.
God told Abram, “I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.” How can God be a shield to you? A soldier uses a shield when he goes to war. When the enemy shoots arrows, even fiery arrows, at a soldier, he can fight them off with his shield? An enemy might rush at a soldier with a sword, but with a shield he can stop the sword from touching him. Roman soldiers could make a small fort from their shields. A group of soldiers would stand behind their shields and form a circle. They could even cover their heads with shields, so they were safe if attacked from any direction. God promised Abram that He would act as his shield to keep him safe, and God did it. He stopped many evil things from happening to Abram.
If you are a Christian, the Lord Jesus will be a shield to you. He saves you from the fiery darts of the devil's accusations and temptation. Jesus already defeated the devil for you when He died on the cross. To set you free from the devil's chains, Jesus broke the devil’s power by the victory that is in His blood. If you pray to be encircled by the blood of Jesus for daily protection the devil cannot touch you.
God gave to Abram another amazing promise. One dark night God showed him the stars in the night sky. There were so many shining stars in that black sky Abram couldn’t even begin to number them. Then God said, I’ll give you just as many children as stars in the sky. God promised Abram that he and his wife Sarai would become the father and mother of millions of children, which seemed impossible for at that time they didn’t even have one child, and they were very old. Abraham was 99 years old and Sarah was 90 years old. It seemed impossible that they would be blessed with a child due to their old age.
But that didn’t matter to God. God spoke to Abraham again, saying, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.”
Then God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. The letters H-A-M at the end of his new name meant multitude. Then God also changed Sarai’s name. Her name was changed to Sarah. Sarah with an “h”. Her new name, Sarah, meant princess and she was to be the mother of a great many children. She would be a mother of nations.
So both Abraham and Sarah had an “h” added to their names.
At the possibility of becoming a father at such an old age Abram bowed before God to pray, but in his praying, he burst out in laughter. Abram asked, “Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?”
At a later time, three men who were messengers from God visited Abraham and told him that he and his wife, Sarah, were going to have a child. Sarah secretly laughed to herself thinking she was too old to have a baby. And the visiting men knew she laughed. They challenged her about her laughter. She was very embarrassed. Her face probably went red with shame. She tried to deny that she laughed at the possibility of having a child, but the men had the final word saying, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
They pronounced that Sarah would have a son, and his name was to be called Isaac, which means laughter. Could you imagine being called laughter? Everybody would be laughing at you, if you your name was laughter!
So in time, Abraham and Sarah were blessed with a child and his name was called Isaac. From that one child, God fulfilled His promise to make Abraham the father of a multitude. Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve children of Israel, who gave their names to the twelve tribes of Israel. Through them, the nation of Israel grew, but even more amazingly, from the family-line of Abraham our Lord Jesus was born. Everyone that believes that Jesus is the Saviour of the world and believes in the power of His gospel to save from sin are counted as children of Abraham, and better still, they are counted as children of God.
Abraham believed in God’s promise that he and Sarah would have a child and a vast number of people would one day be in heaven. We are to believe in God’s promises to us. God’s promises are fulfilled to us through the name of the Lord Jesus. The birth of Isaac, a miracle baby, was a picture of God’s way of blessing souls with eternal life. God has given us a miracle child, even His own Son, born of our nature and fully equipped to be our Saviour.
If you search through the whole Bible you will find that God has kept every promise He ever made to His believing people. God’s promises are sure and certain. God is not a liar. He loves truth. That is how we know we can trust Him to fulfill His promises to us.
We can, therefore, trust God to free us from the burden of sin. The burden of sin that you may be carrying right now will weigh you down and destroy your soul, but if you believe in the Lord Jesus as your Saviour, He will save you because through the preaching of the gospel God has promised to remove the burden of sin from all who repent and believe.
The apostle Peter gave out a promise to people who were burdened by sin. He said, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). That’s like having a black ink stain blotted out. The black stain is removed, and in God’s eyes you are made as white as snow. That is a great promise. If you pray for your sin to be blotted out, you will prove that nothing is too hard for the Lord. Jesus has all power to wash away your sins. He will do it for you, even today! And that’s a promise, even God’s promise to you!
January 10, 2021. Ian Goligher