Read: Genesis 15-17
Summary: God formalizes the covenant with Abraham, while also telling him of the bondage his descendants would experience in Egypt many years later.
Sarah and Abraham both attempt to bring fulfillment to the promise for a child. That, of course, ends up in the consequent problems with Hagar and Ishmael. God, rather, repeats the promise that this elderly couple would indeed have a child of their own.
Time is On God’s Side
On occasion, the promises I make require time to be fulfilled.
I have promised to pay back a loan to the bank. Time isn’t just an incidental feature of that arrangement, it is absolutely necessary. Without the benefit of time the loan would be pointless.
God does not require time to fulfill His promises. He can do so immediately, if He so chooses. By Genesis 17:1, Abraham has reached the age of 99 years. He was 75 when God called him and promised that he would have a child (see Gen. 12:4).
It’s been 24 years! What’s the hold up?
It certainly isn’t that God has been unable to get things worked out so He can give Abraham what He promised. Time, when it comes to God’s promises, is immaterial.
But not to us.
That’s where the testing of our faith comes in. Are we willing to have the patience and be satisfied in full assurance that whatever God has promised, it will come to pass? No matter how long it takes?