15 And God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her." 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, "Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?"
Genesis 17:15-17, English Standard Version
Shall a Child?
I know that I have written devotions on this Bible passage before, but today I would like to look at it from a different perspective. Often, in the Word of God, we read accounts of miraculous events surrounding a child, or the birth of a child. Such is the case in Genesis 17. As we look at the significance of this miraculous birth, we should also ask the question, what is the significance in the Bible of the word "child?"
"Child" in the Bible represents future generations. We used to pay more attention, years ago, to carrying on the family name. In my family, my father's only brother was killed in War War II. Because he had no children, it was left to my father to carry on the family name. God blessed my father with two sons, and seven grandsons who would carry his name to future generations.
With the modern trend of choosing either the bride or groom's name, or even a completely different name, the significance of the family name does not hold the same impact.
In the case of Abraham, this is not just a case of carrying on Abraham's name, rather it is a case of carrying on the name of God through the children of Abraham. Just as we look forward to a future child born of the seed of Abraham in a miraculous way, so we see that the son of Abraham was born in a physically impossible situation. Sarah was past the years of being able to bear children; no wonder we see Abraham laughing at the mere suggestion of such absurdity.
Shall a child be born to Abraham and Sarah? Shall a child be born to the virgin, Mary? Shall spiritual children be born through our efforts as parents while here on earth. Do not be caught up, as I was, into thinking that by using the right formula for raising my children, they would automatically follow Christ as they became adults. Even the gift of salvation to our children is a miraculous birth given from the Lord.
Pray for your children, and pray that you will have the grace to never give up on them, though they may choose the wrong path. Our birth in Christ is miraculous, and it is a gift. Both give us reasons to never cease praying for our children, that God would grant to them the miraculous gift of salvation.
God Bless You,