Quiet Time Coaching Episode 462 | New Thing Series — Part 17 | “Abraham’s laughter” | Malcolm Cox

A new thing! I’m Malcolm Cox. Welcome to your daily devotional podcast anchored in Isaiah 43:19: ‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’

We are currently looking at God doing a new thing in the life of Abraham. Today we explore Abraham’s laughter.

“God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 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.”
Abraham 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?””
(Genesis 17:15-17 NIV11)

Why is he laughing? Was it a nervous laugh? Did he think God was joking? Was the laughter derisory? How did God feel about Abraham’s laughter? We will never know the details, but we can be inspired by two things:

  1. God didn’t take it personally
  2. Abraham was obedient despite his scepticism

The numbers do not matter

  • Abraham was 99 years old
  • The promises are, on the face of it, ridiculous – nations and kings will come from Abraham

“Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.” (Romans 4:19 NIV11)

“And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.” (Hebrews 11:12 NIV11)

For Reflection
Abraham struggled to accept God’s promise to of an unprecedented new thing — fathering a son at such an advanced age. Yet, he overcame his scepticism to trust God for something he could barely imagine, let alone see. Sometimes God does a new thing we can see coming. But sometimes he takes us on a bizarre adventure that, at the time, makes no sense. Is there something like that in your life right now? Something so odd, you cannot possibly see how God could bring good out of it? If so, you are in good company — Abraham’s.

I hope you find your heart, your life, your congregation and your world inspired by God doing a new thing. Until tomorrow, take care, and God bless.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License