How often do we act like we know better than God? I think in my pride I would never admit that openly. Actually, often I think I even convince myself that is not what I am doing. But, the truth is, when I complain, or when I grumble about something, what I am really saying is, “God I don’t think your plan in this moment is the best. I think mine would be much better.”
In Genesis 16:1-4 Abram and Sarai come up with a plan to try and help God out. God had promised them a son in chapter 15. It had been 11 years since God made his promise. I don’t believe, Abram and Sarai doubted God’s promise, but it seems like they felt like God was taking too long, and that they could come up with a better way for the promise to come true. So Sarai suggested that Abram sleep with her servant in order to produce the promised son!
We look at that and think, “How could they ever imagine that was a better plan?” There’s probably some cultural things that we aren’t aware of that contributed to their thinking. But, none the less, that was the plan they came up with.
When we come to chapter 17, another 13 years has past. Ishmael is now 13, and God appears to Abram again. God brings up His promise again. It’s now been 25 years since God made his promise. But, God says, “I am still going to make you a great nation. You are going to be exceedingly fruitful. … oh, and by the way, this is going to be fulfilled through the son I am going to give to Sarai, whom I am now calling Sarah!
Abram, now Abraham, laughs at God. “Are you crazy? Sarah is 90, and I am 99, there’s no way. Isn’t Ishmael good enough?”
Isn’t that just like us. “Oh come on God, this way is so much easier. Can’t you just let us do it that way?” God will never honor the work of the flesh! Only work done by the power of God can qualify as the work of God. Everything else is just carnal, fleshly work!
So, when we are tempted to laugh at God, may it be a reminder that it may be an indication that the source of that activity, or that desire may not be from God, and therefore it is carnal and fleshly… and God will not honor it.
May we be like Joshua in Joshua 24:15, “Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served… (carnal, fleshly idols) But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord!