From The Heart

Publish date: 05/26/2002

16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring-not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed-the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.  Romans 4:16-17 NIV

The God of Abraham and his offspring – both physical (natural seed) and spiritual (those who share Abraham’s faith in the promise) – gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers." 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God."  Genesis 17:1-8 NIV

15 God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her."  Genesis 17:15-16 NIV

Even though it looked as if Abram’s body and Sarai’s womb were dead and totally unable to produce a child, God renamed Abram, Abraham – father of many nations – and Sarai, Sarah – princess. God called Abraham and Sarah, father and mother, even though they had never had a child together and were now physically unable to have one. God called Abraham, “father of many nations”, and that is exactly what he became. God spoke it into existence.

11 Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, "The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!" 13 Gideon said to Him, "O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites." 14 Then the LORD turned to him and said, "Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?" 15 So he said to Him, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." 16 And the LORD said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man."  Judges 6:11-16 NKJV

God called Gideon “you mighty man of valor” even though he was weak and afraid. He was hiding from the Midianites and he had no self-confidence. Even after speaking with the Angel of the Lord, he asked for one sign after the other. He seemed to be neither brave nor courageous. One might think that God had made a mistake in calling Gideon a mighty man of valor, but God calls things that are not as though they were. When the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, he did as he was instructed.

Judges 7:12 NKJV says, “Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.”  Even though there were so many of the enemy, God cut the Israeli army down from 32,000 to just 300 and then, when they had surrounded the enemy, they defeated them with nothing but trumpets, pitchers and torches. And God got all the glory for it.

God always speaks to your future and He always expects the best of you. Who you think you are or what you think you have got does not count for anything at all. When God has a plan for your life, He may change your name, He may call you something that you know you are not, but when He calls those things that are not as though they were, you can be sure that it will come to pass exactly as He has said!