Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
It starts like this …
As I was walking down the street one day,
A man came up to me and asked me
What the time was that was on my watch
Yeah… and I said”
(I don’t) Does anybody really know what time it is?
(Care) Does anybody really care?
(About time) If so, I can’t imagine why
(Oh no, no) We’ve all got time enough to cry…”
Well, the song from Chicago does in any case. But a week or so ago, a question came on the timeline of Abram\Abraham. I couldn’t remember my Old Testament history clearly, which I will blame on a lack of coffee.
Hopefully, this lessens up the murk.
Abram is introduced in Genesis 12 as God calls him to leave Haran and travel to a yet unnamed place. In Genesis 12:4, history records Abram’s age at 75. Abram picks up and goes on an extraordinary journey. Flash forward to Genesis 15; this is where the Covenant framework begins. Abram has a series of conversations with God, where God covenants with Abram and promises to make his descendants uncountable Genesis 15:5. God has Abram prepare an animal sacrifice Genesis 15:9. Abram falls into a deep sleep, where God details out what is coming for his descendants. And Abram is promised a good long life. The imagery in Genesis 15:17 is an entire sermon in God’s plan for redemption. For God shows that He will walk between the pieces before His own holiness.
Genesis 16 is a clear example of not following and trusting God. Sarai, using Hagar as a surrogate, attempts to “help” God do what He promised. Naturally, like in our own lives, it went sideways. At this point, Abram is 86 Genesis16:16. Genesis 12-16 encompass 11 years.
Chapter 17 begins the use of circumcision as an act of “setting apart.” Abram is 99 years old (Genesis 17:1); thus, a 13-year gap exists as Abram continues to believe in faith. In verse 4, God re-affirms the covenant and changes Abram’s name to Abraham. Sarai becomes Sarah. All the guys get circumcised. Fun times.
Chapter 18 has Abraham showing hospitality to the Lord at teh Oaks of Mamre. In verses 11-12, Abraham and Sarah are old, well past the point of having children. The Lord says, “I anything too hard for the Lord?.. at the appointed time I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” – insert mic drop. Sarah laughs at the idea and then denies laughing at it.
Chapters 18-20 detail the events transpiring in the next year. Abraham “negotiates” with God for Sodom because his nephew Lot lived there. Lots of deep nuggets in these passages.
Chapter 21 has the Lord returning. Sarah conceives and bears a son, Isaac. Verse 5 notes Abraham is 100 years old. Sarah nurses Isaac, even in her old age.
The takeaway for us? Since the tomb is empty, anything is possible. But in those times where we find ourselves questioning God, reflect on the father’s plea in Mark 9:24- Immediately, the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”