Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. Tonight is study #6 of Genesis, chapter 18 and we are going to read Genesis 18:9-13:
And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And JEHOVAH said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
As we have been going through this chapter, verse by verse, we have seen that God appeared to Abraham in the form of three men. Therefore, we are not surprised that it says in verse 9: “And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife?” How did that happen? Did all three speak at once or did one, after another, ask the very same thing? No – God spoke it. Then in verse 10, it reverts to a personal pronoun: “And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life.” It is because God is a Triune God, according to 1John 5:7: “And these three are one.” So, when one spoke, “they” speak. They have unity of voice because there is unity and perfect agreement within the Godhead and all three Persons. There is a “oneness” between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and we see that in view, once again.
Then God promised and assured Abraham, in Genesis 18:10-11:
And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
The word “manner” is a word that can be translated as “way” or “path.” We know that the ability to bear children is in view; Sarah was advanced in age and no longer able to physically bear children. We know that is the case because it says of Abraham in the New Testament in Romans 4:19:
And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:
We have discussed this before. We talked about how Sarah’s dead womb was the place where God brought life and He caused there to be conception and the child Isaac was formed in a dead womb. Then Isaac “came forth” or was born from a father that was “as good as dead,” according to the Bible, and from a mother whose womb was “dead.” We talked about this before. This identifies in a dual way with the seed. In the first instance, the seed is the Lord Jesus because Isaac was a type of Christ and Christ was conceived at the point of the foundation of the world and as the first born from the dead, He was declared to be the Son of God when He rose from the dead at the foundation of the world. He rose out of the “womb” of death or hell because He had been dead. That is why God made a point to emphasize the deadness of Sarah’s womb. Sarah gave birth to Isaac, the promised seed, who pictures the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the second instance, it is a dual picture because the Bible also tells us that all those Christ saved are counted for the seed. All the elect that are in Christ are also the spiritual seed of Abraham. Just as Isaac came forth from his mother’s womb, great multitudes would come forth of Abraham and Sarah, spiritually. This relates to Isaiah 54 and what we read in Galatians, chapter 4 where it says that all those that are born of promise have Sarah as their mother. Likewise, at the end of the world God brought the world into the condition of death when He shut the door of heaven and it is as if hell has come up to the earth and at the conclusion of this prolonged Judgment Day period God will raise up the whole company of the elect. All those whose bodies are in the grave are in “hell,” because hell and the grave (death) are synonymous. When they are resurrected they are coming out of “hell” and all those that are alive and living on the earth come up out of the condition of hell that exists in the world, so we will all follow the pattern and example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who was declared to be the Son of God when He rose from the dead at the foundation of the world. And we will rise from “hell” or death on the very last day, declared to be the sons of God. Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren, the firstborn from the dead. So, too, His many brethren must rise from the dead. This is the way God has worked it out.
Going back to Genesis, chapter 18, it says in Genesis 18:12-13:
Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And JEHOVAH said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
We have also spent some time discussing God’s program of “times and seasons” and the sending forth of the Gospel into the world in the day of salvation, which the Bible relates to a time of weeping. It refers to Judgment Day as the time of unsaved mankind’s calamity when God laughs. The elect are characterized as laughing along with Him.
Again, let me point out that this has nothing to do with taking pleasure in the death of the wicked. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and neither do we. May it never be. The Lord Jesus put forth the principal of “laughing” in the Day of Judgement when He said that we would weep in the day of salvation and we would laugh in a future time in the Day of Judgment. That is why in this account in Genesis emphasizes the number “13” in chapters 16 and 17, with the birth of Ishmael and God making His appearance to Abraham. The word “covenant” was used 13 times in chapter 17 and it identifies with the time of the end of the world. Judgment began at the house of God in 1988, the 13,000th year of earth’s history. Not long after that in 2011 God brought the whole world into judgment, which is the time identified with “laughing,” so it says in our verse that “Sarah laughed within herself,” and God responded, “Wherefore did Sarah laugh?”
At this point, it is important to point out that the Bible speaks positively of Sarah’s faith, so we should not think that she lacked faith. Likewise, Abraham had “laughed” in the previous chapter and he is also mentioned as a man of faith in Hebrews, chapter 11. It says of Sarah in Hebrews 11:11:
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed…
We talked about this in the past, but the word “conceive” is the word also translated as “foundation,” as we read in Revelation 13 that Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. That is one way that God ties together the birthing of Isaac to the conception and birth of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God at the foundation of the world. Once again, that is why the Bible mentions the “deadness” of Sarah’s womb.
Again, it says in Hebrews 11:11:
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
So, Sarah conceived and brought forth Isaac, a type of Christ, and Sarah conceived and brought forth the whole company of the elect, the majority of which would be brought out of the “dead womb” or the deadness of hell on that last day, delivered as sons of God into the new heaven and new earth. That is the picture God paints of the faith of Christ and Sarah was a saved woman and possessed the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. We should not think less of her for laughing within herself.
Let us go on to Genesis 18:14:
Is any thing too hard for JEHOVAH? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
God made this statement in response to Sarah laughing within herself – something that Abraham had already done. God responds, “Is any thing too hard for JEHOVAH?” What is the answer to that question? The implication is found in God’s response that there is nothing too hard for JEHOVAH. The word translated as “hard” is also translated as “wondrous” or “marvelous” or “miraculous.” Just substitute any of those words: “Is anything to wondrous for JEHOVAH? Is anything to marvelous for JEHOVAH? Is anything too miraculous for JEHOVAH?” Of course, we know the answer is that there is not anything too wondrous for Almighty God. This is the God who spoke and created the world. In Job, chapter 5 the word translated as “hard” in our verse is translated as “marvelous.” It says in Job 5:8-9:
I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number:
We could say, “hard things without number.” This is what God does. It goes on in Job to describe the great things God does. He does unsearchable things. It was only after 13,000 years of history that God equipped mankind with some technical expertise to delve into His creation with telescopes that can see far out into space. Also, we can see some very minute bits of creation through a microscope with all its complex detail. We just stand in wonder at the grandeur of this awesome creation that God created with His Word: “Let there be light.” And, so, it was. God spoke and the universe came into being and the earth was created. Animals populated the earth and sea creatures populated the sea and man was created from the dust of the earth. Now we look and we see all the wonders of DNA in intimate detail and, of course, it is obvious that these things could not have happened by chance. They were created by a Master Designer that brought these things into existence with His power and might and awesome ability. God does great and unsearchable things, without number. We cannot even begin to number the works of God in this creation, let alone all the other creations that God has created that are beyond this creation. They are unfathomable to us. They are not known to us and we cannot imagine the depths and bounty of God’s Person and the things He has created from eternity past and will create in eternity future.
Also, this word is translated as “wonders” in Job 9:4-10:
He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger. Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble. Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.
The word “wonders” is the same word translated as “hard.” He has done hard things without number. He has spread out the heavens. In the scientific world, they have observed that the heavens are still expanding, even at this late point after creation. Of course, scientists think the universe is billions of years old, but it has been just over 13,000 years, but the heavens are still expanding and going forth. God said that He spreads out the heavens and they continue to spread even now. What a wondrous and marvelous thing that is! They are things we can barely comprehend, even though they are part of this creation. It is summed up in Job 9:10: “Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.” Is anything too wondrous for JEHOVAH? Is anything too hard for JEHOVAH? We use that term, “too hard,” in our language, do we not? We might say to a child, “Do not try that – it is too hard for you to do.” We might say of someone we think is not equipped with the ability to perform a certain thing, “Oh, do not try that – it is too hard for you to do. Do not feel badly.” There are literally millions of things that are too hard for you or for me or for any man to do. But when we ask the question, “Is there anything too hard for JEHOVAH?”, the Bible gives a definite answer. There is nothing too hard for JEHOVAH. It would be ridiculous to think that anything would be too complicated for the One who created complexity? Nothing is too hard or too complicated for God. Is anything too hard for God regarding ability when He is a God who creates just by speaking? We can look at any area that someone might question whether it is too hard for God. No – He is quite capable to perform the doing of it, whatever it may be.
Of course, this all comes back to the promises of God because the subject is the promised seed. He had told Abraham for many years that there would be a seed, but it would not be from Hagar. It would not be Ishmael, the son of a bondservant. The son would come through Sarah. Sarah would have a child, which was an impossible thing for their advanced age. Abraham was almost 100 and Sarah was almost 90. But was it too hard or too wondrous or too miraculous for God to do? Was it too hard for JEHOVAH? Of course, it was not and we find that God did fulfill His Word.
So, too, for us today, is it too hard for God to fulfill His promises concerning what He declared for the end of this world? Is it too hard for JEHOVAH to resurrect the bodies of the dead elect on the last day? Is it too hard for JEHOVAH to rapture the living elect on the last day? Is it too hard for JEHOVAH to create the new heaven and new earth and bring His elect people to that eternal habitation for evermore? Is it too hard for JEHOVAH to fulfill His Word on any point that He has so declared? What is the answer? The answer is, “No – it is not too hard for JEHOVAH to do these things.”
You know, after Job went through his ordeal, this is what Job acknowledged, in Job 42:1-3:
Then Job answered JEHOVAH, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
That word translated as “wonderful” is our word translated as “hard.” It goes on to say in Job 42:4-6:
Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Job came to the realization and understanding that God can do everything. Job was subjected to a severe trial of faith and he endured to the end. At the end, he came to the realization that God can do everything – there is nothing too hard for JEHOVAH.
And we might think, in our affliction and our severe trial of faith in our day, that it is too hard for God to complete His salvation program regarding our resurrected bodies and the new heaven and new earth. We might think these things are only written in the Bible, but there will never be a completion of these things. And, yet, God’s elect will shortly realize that God can do everything and nothing is too hard for JEHOVAH. Nothing is beyond His power to perform. We will see this on that last day that is soon to come. We will see that God is faithful and true and His Word is faithful is true. He will do it.