Abraham wasn’t looking at his physical condition, medical facts, feelings, or limitations. He focused on God’s promises.
Romans 4:20-21 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
God wants us to keep our eyes on him and his promises regardless of what our situation is. That’s where our faith comes in. Abraham didn’t stagger in his walk with God about the promises because of his faith in God. He had consistent faith and God counted it for righteousness. God wants us to have the same kind of standing faith. God is more powerful than what we can see with our eyes or anything else. Impossible is not a fact with God, but is only an opinion. Nothing is impossible with God. The Roman commander wasn’t a Jew but he had great confidence and respect in Jesus. God had dealt with him and he believed God. The centurion servant was paralyzed and in great torment of pain. Jesus told the centurion to go his way and what he believed would be done. He is still offering the same thing if we have faith to believe.
Matthew 8:5-13 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him,I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed,Verily…I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And …many shall…sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion,Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
Jesus said Abraham and others would sit down in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom be cast out. They were cast out because of unbelief. In the world there’s a lot of unbelief that is shown by people’s cynicism. Cynicism is unbelief, absence of faith, and it hinders faith. The cynic believes nothing because he’s certain he’ll be let down if he believes something. That way the cynic feels safe rather than disappointed. The cynic believes people are motivated purely by selfishness – not sincerity. We can’t let cynicism in our life and start categorizing each other. We need to trust and love each other, to have compassion and concern for the body of Christ. We can’t be thinking people aren’t sincere, honest, and don’t mean what they say. Sarcasm is the native language of cynicism. We’ve all been guilty of being sarcastic at sometime but Jesus was never sarcastic. We need to ask God to help us if sarcasm has been working in us. Cynicism is generally distrusting of other’s motives. Cynicism is discontentment, lack of joy, indifference, pessimism, and negative thinking. During the pandemic the enemy has been working to get us to not trust God or others and to be cynical. The enemy want us to look at limitations and not trust in the promises of God. Cynicism is quick to see the worst in others, questions the truth of what people say, is grumpy, and has a problem or complains about everything. The cynic sees everyone’s flaws except their own. They act as self appointed judges and measure everyone by their own standard. We can’t allow these attitudes that show a lack of the love of God and not an identity with Christ but an identity of cynicism.
Jesus told about a judge who was under a spirit of cynicism. He didn’t care about others, was selfish and didn’t believe in God. Jesus gave this example for so we’d keep believing, trusting, praying continually, and to know God is completely different than this judge. God is compassionate, tender, never fails in his promises, and wants us to succeed.
Luke 18:1-7 And he spake a parable…that men ought always to pray, and not to faint…There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came… saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me…Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
God wants us to fully trust him and not stagger about his promises. The children of Israel saw how God did great things for them when they came out of Egypt. He supplied their needs – manna to eat, shoes that didn’t wear out for 40 years. The Israelites unbelief was shown by questioning if God could furnish a table or give water in the wilderness. They died in the wilderness because they doubted and questioned God could provide for them. God wants us to be content with food and raiment. Humans tend to categorize things as easy, hard, or impossible. We may carry that thinking into salvation. If something is impossible for people, they think it’s impossible for God. He does exceedingly above what we ask or think.
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
God can do anything but it takes faith. We need to put our trust and faith in God’s promises. The promise that all things work together for good is as real today as when it was written. God is working for our good if we keep our confidence in him. Deuteronomy 28:53 says God warned there’d be a famine and people would eat their children if they stopped trusting him and turned to other gods. There was a great famine in Samaria and some killed their children to eat them. In California history we read of some in the Donna party who didn’t kill but ate those that died. The king’s servant said it was impossible when Elisha said Samaria would be surrounded so they’d pay high prices for an ass’s head or dove’s dung (commentators say it was a kind of peas).
II Kings 6:24-31…Benhadad king of Syria…besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine…until an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver. And as the king…was passing…there cried a woman…Help, my lord, O king. And he said, If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? …she answered, This woman said…Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said…the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son. And …when the king heard…rent his clothes…said, God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha…stand on him this day.
Four lepers outside Samaria depended on food thrown outside. They were starving so decided to go the Syrian camp.
II Kings 7:1-5 Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord…To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria. Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered…Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof. And there were four leprous men at…the gate: and they said…Why sit we here until we die? If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die…if we sit still here, we die also. Now…let us fall unto…the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die. And they rose up…to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come…behold, there was no man there.
God made a noise that the Syrians imagined was a great army coming. They ran away but left everything. The lepers found food and thought about the starving people in Samaria as they ate and drank. They went to tell the gate porter of Samaria. People ran out of the city to the camp. They ran over and killed the man that said what Elisha said was impossible.
II Kings 7:6-7 For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots…even the noise of a great host: and they said…the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians…Wherefore they arose and fled…and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.
II Kings 7:19-20 And that lord answered…if the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof. And so…people trode upon him in the gate, and he died.
Cynicism and unbelief happened way back in Lot’s time. Lot’s wife started out of the city before it was destroyed, but turned back. The devil wants us to start out but then turn back to unbelief – not believing what God says and have contrary attitudes – instead of the love of God. God can do whatever he wants. Nothing is impossible with God. Elisha served God in the famine. Today we need to be satisfied with our life, keep a right attitude, be sweet, and help each other in our times.
Genesis 19:14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
Genesis 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)