17. GOD'S DESIRE WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED WITH OR WITHOUT MAN'S COOPERATION.
Genesis 11:4,9 - "And they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth'...Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth."
God had commanded mankind to multiply and fill the Earth (cf. 9:1), not congregate exclusively in one area. God's will was fulfilled though man initially resisted out of pride. Sometimes God fulfills His will through difficult situations and even devastation. If God wants something accomplished today, it will be done--whether we are going to do our part to make it happen or not!
18. YOU CAN COUNT ON GOD'S PROMISES, THOUGH PATIENCE IS REQUIRED.
God promised Abram in Genesis 12:2,3,7 - "I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed...To your descendants I will give this land..."
Abram, already advanced in age, waited a quarter-of-a-century for the promised son to be born--25 years! He never disbelieved though he and his wife became a bit impatient at one point (cf. 16:2). The other promises God made to Him were not fulfilled until much later (long after he had died). Friends, God always keeps His word, but not necessarily on our time table. May we remember this truth when we struggle and are tempted to doubt.
19. GOD KNOWS WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT.
Genesis 17:12 - "He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised..."
Circumcision on the 8th day? Why then? We learned the reason why in 1935 when vitamin K & prothrombin were identified as blood clotting agents that were at their highest levels naturally on that day. In other words, the 8th day was the safest day to perform a circumcision since the blood would clot exceedingly well naturally. God knows when the time is right for any aspect of life under consideration, and His guidance should not be treated lightly.
20. OPPORTUNITIES TO BE HOSPITABLE SHOULD BE EMBRACED.
Genesis 18:2,3 - "So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, 'My lord, if I have now found favor in your sight, do not pass on by your servant.'"
Admittedly, it's hard to imagine a rich man (who had over 300 servants; cf. 14:14) running personally to take care of some strangers who showed up whom he doesn't even know, but that's exactly what Abraham does! What an example of kindness and hospitality! We need to be looking for opportunities to serve others and then act upon them. Hospitality is more difficult in our culture, but it is commanded of us, nevertheless (cf. Rom. 12:13).
21. NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR THE LORD.
Genesis 18:14 - "Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."
If it's not too hard for the Lord to cause a 90-year-old woman to conceive, then it's not too hard for the Lord to do anything we ask or pray for in accordance with His will (cf. I John 5:14,15)! He can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (cf. Eph. 3:20,21)! God can do anything that is subject to power and in harmony with His character. May we never forget this when we are challenged by one of life's difficulties!