Morning
January 18

Genesis 17:17 (NIV) 17Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?"

18:12 (NIV) 12So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?"


When the LORD came to Abraham, before the destruction of Sodom, He promised that Sarah would be the mother of the son of promise. Abraham had already had a son through Sarah's servant Hagar. He had "helped" God out by using a custom of the time. The help he gave God was going to end up being a great heartache. As children of God, we have customs that are different from those of the world around us. We are separated as citizens of heaven and need to live in the ways of our new culture and not the one around us.

When the LORD told Abraham that it was through Sarah that the promised child would be born, Abraham laughed at the thought of 100-year-old man and a 90-year-old woman having a child. When you think about it, it is kind of funny. But God delights in the impossible, so that we know it is God's doing and not man's.

When Sarah heard, she laughed too. The difference is that Sarah was laughing at God. God responded, "Is anything too hard for the LORD? Genesis 18:14 What can we learn from the two laughs? I think God delights for us to see how impossible it is for man to do something. Go ahead and laugh at the impossibility of what He has promised you. He has promised to make you into the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29) Ha ha ha! No man can do that! What a wild thing to do! Can you believe God would take a person like you or me and do such a thing? Sarah's laugh said, "No. It is not possible even for God!" God says, "Nothing is too hard for me! Watch and see, for in my time it will come to pass."

Meditation: The One who brought it pass for Abraham is the same capable God who promises to make you like His Son.


Evening
January 18

Zechariah 12:1-3 (NIV) 1This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: 2"I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.


It is easy to see why the Jews got mixed up about Jesus first and second comings when you read the prophecies in Zechariah. In some cases, a prediction of His first coming is followed by the second in the next verse. There would only be one more prophet, Malachi, between Zechariah and John the Baptist. No wonder he speaks so much of the coming Messiah and the ultimate restoration of Israel.

In our passage today we see the final great battle of Armageddon. The armies of the world surround Jerusalem. In these last three chapters of Zechariah's prophecy, we see the purging of Israel, their repentance and acceptance of the Messiah, and the Messiah's establishment of His reign over the earth. Look at your newspaper today. There is probably an article on the conflict over this tiny nation. It is not even 1% of the landmass of the Arab nations that surround it, and yet it has become an immovable rock. Time and time again the Arabs have tried to move it, only to injure themselves. It is the zeal or jealous love of the Lord that is accomplishing this. The Creator of heaven and earth made a covenant with Abraham, and He is keeping it. Yes, it has been kept in the spiritual sense, but reading these last three chapters of Zechariah, you can see that it will be fulfilled in the Messianic Israelites as they recognize their Messiah.

Consider: The fulfillment of this prediction of the immovable rock should cause us to turn our eyes to the eastern skies. His return is close. Are you prepared to meet Him in the air?