Read Genesis 17:3-9 and John 8:51-59
When is the last time that you eagerly waited for something with such hope and expectation that you were visibly full of nervous excitement? This is the kid at Christmas that can’t wait to rip open her presents. This is the husband that can’t stop crying when he sees his bride in her white dress for the first time. When you’ve been promised something great, the closer you get to it the more excited you get about it. You can almost hold it and you imagine how it’d feel in your hands. You can almost taste it and your mouth waters with anticipation.
This is where we find Abraham in Genesis 17. His name was Abram, which meant “exalted father.” But now God has changed his name to Abraham because that meant “father of a multitude.” Abraham had no children of his own but God promised to give him a son and now he confirms that Sarah will bear this son within a year. The excitement must have been great. That excitement grew when Sarah was found to be pregnant at 90 years old. And that excitement only increased into overwhelming joy the day that Abraham held his son, Isaac, for the first time!
However, God’s promise was only partially fulfilled with Isaac’s birth. The ultimate fulfillment of this promise is that all the nations of the world would be blessed by the offspring of Abraham, by Jesus. Abraham probably had little understanding of how God would ultimately fulfill this promise, but he counted God as trustworthy and he knew that God would do as He said He would. He didn’t get to experience the birth of Christ, but Abraham was so sure of that promise that he could see it. It was near to him and he was glad.
Today, we live on the other side of history to Christ’s birth. We are no longer to live in eager expectation of Christ’s coming to bless the nations. Instead, we are to live in unwavering excitement of Christ’s second coming and the fulfillment of all that was promised during His first coming.