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Going Without Knowing: Delayed Promises (Part 1)

Sometime later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.” But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.” Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”-Genesis 15:1-5

Is it possible to be blessed yet feel unfulfilled? We, humans, are peculiar people, aren’t we? God can continually bless us and show Himself strong on our behalf, yet we don’t feel blessed because the one thing that God promised us, that is yet to be fulfilled, leaves us feeling unfulfilled.

Abraham has seen God’s sovereign hand leading, providing for, and protecting him since he left Ur. God has prospered him in so many ways yet, he is struggling because the one promise God made (that had not yet been fulfilled) was causing Abraham to question God. God reaffirms to Abraham that he will protect him and that his reward will be great to which Abraham replies:

“But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”-Genesis 15:2-3

Notice how Abraham focuses his attention on the one thing God has yet to accomplish? “What good are all your blessings, he said, if this one promise remains unfulfilled?” Delayed promises have a way of diminishing our expectations, hampering our hope, and challenging our loyalties. Abraham’s response communicates a host of struggles that he is battling in his mind: What good are all your blessings, when...? Abraham discounted all of God’s other blessings based on the time it was taking for Him to fulfill one specific promise. Basically, he is saying... “What good are all the other miracles if I don’t get the miracle I’m looking for most?” or “What good is God’s blessings if He doesn’t bless me in the area I need it most?”


How quickly do you question God when the particular promise you are looking for isn’t fulfilled when you think it should be? Especially, after He has blessed you in so many other ways. Abraham then takes his questioning to an all-out accusation; claiming that since God didn’t come through with a child he was then going to have to settle for a servant to be his heir. “Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3 You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”

Abraham adopted the worst-case scenario as his response to God’s delay. How many of us have been guilty of that? When we don’t see an immediate miracle our minds gravitate to the worst possible outcome.

Pastor Scott Burr Dayspring Community Church

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