Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. — Genesis 18:14
Bonnie Davis has proved that there is nothing too hard for the Lord. A number of years ago, a biopsy revealed cancer in her body. The doctor told her that she needed to have an immediate operation or she would die, but she felt personally led to refuse surgery and look to God alone in faith for her healing.
In the weeks following the biopsy, the cancer spread like wildfire throughout her body. The pain became more intense, and she grew weaker and weaker. It seemed her life was ebbing away, but God would speak to her heart, saying, “Have faith! Keep holding on! Keep believing.” That is just what she did.
She testifies, “One day, I felt as though I were choking to death. I was almost overcome with pain, but I cried out, ‘Lord, I am dying. If it is Your will, heal me, so I can take care of my loved ones.’ Then came the discouraging thought: You cannot live; you are full of cancer. I kept right on pleading for my life, making deeper and deeper consecrations. Once again I prayed, ‘God, please heal me for Thy honor and glory.’ Back came the answer, ‘I am the Lord that healeth thee.’ I knew those words came from Heaven, and I grabbed hold of that promise and held to it.
“I told the Lord that if He would help me, I would go to church and ask the ministers to pray for me, as the Bible instructs. That night, though in much pain and very weak, I went to church. After the service, the ministers anointed my head with oil and prayed for me. And the Lord instantly healed me!”
The next day, the cancer began passing from Bonnie’s body. It continued doing so for several weeks, and she felt stronger and stronger. When the time came for another checkup, four of the best specialists in the city analyzed her case but they found no trace of cancer. Today, many years later, she is still free of that disease.
In today’s text, an announcement came straight from Heaven: at the appointed time, Sarah would give birth to the promised son, though she was decades past child-bearing years. In the natural, this seemed impossible, but God asked Abraham the question, “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?”
If the same question were put to us, how easily the answer, “Of course not!” would roll from our tongues. Still, how much more difficult it is to grasp hold of that truth when we face battles we cannot possibly win in our own strength! However, the all-powerful nature of God is a bedrock foundation for our faith. When God makes a promise, we can depend on the fact that He will not fail. We can learn to lean and trust.
What problem confronts you today? What is it that you need most? Try placing your specific need into this question posed to Abraham. Ask yourself, “Is this financial struggle I am facing right now too hard for the Lord?” “Is this decision I am struggling to make too hard for the Lord to guide me through?” “Is this crushing sorrow that is gripping my heart too much for the Lord to handle?”
God can do what no one else can do. He can fix the unfixable. He can solve the unsolvable. He can move the unmovable. If God makes a promise, we can be absolutely assured that He has the power to fulfill it. Both Abraham and Bonnie proved that, and we can too. With God, there are no hopeless cases!
Verses 1–8 of this chapter describe Abraham’s hospitable care of strangers, which was in accord with the custom of the land. When three visitors approached Abraham around noon — an unusual event, since few people traveled in the heat of the day — he gave them a hearty welcome. He urged them to allow him to fetch water to wash the dust from their feet, relax in the shade, and partake of food which would be prepared for them.
After extending the invitation to the three men, Abraham did not merely turn the necessary work over to his servants. Genesis 14:14 indicates that Abraham’s household included 318 trained men-servants, but in spite of his sizeable staff, Abraham took personal charge of these proceedings. He ministered to his guests immediately, rising up from his rest to greet them. He acted speedily, hastening into the tent to discuss with Sarah the plans for the meal. He offered generously, requesting that bread be baked from “fine meal” and providing meat that was “tender and good.” And he ministered humbly, bowing to his guests and calling himself their servant.
Verses 9–15 record the revelation regarding the birth of Isaac. The text does not indicate when Abraham began to be aware that he was entertaining the Lord himself, along with two angels, all in human form. At some point during or after the meal, the announcement was made that Sarah would have a son. While Abraham had been told earlier on three occasions about the birth of his son and future descendants (Genesis 12:2; 15:4; 17:19), it is not clear how much Sarah knew. Listening from inside the tent, she responded with laughter — seemingly a laughter that indicated unbelief. (By contrast, Abraham’s laugher in chapter 17 was apparently the response of joyous faith, since he was not rebuked.) In verse 13, the Lord questioned why Sarah laughed. Her disbelief exposed, Sarah reflexively denied doing so.
In verse 14, the Lord asked Abraham, “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” and then reasserted that Sarah would indeed bear a son.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The early history of the chosen race
10. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
a. The visitation of Abraham
(1) A son from Sarah promised (18:1-15)
Sometimes God does not answer a prayer as soon as we might like, but we must keep praying, trusting, and believing. We can be confident that He will do so in His time.