Bible Reading: Genesis 21:1-7
For 25 years God had been promising a son and heir to Abraham and Sarah. Both of them had doubted at different times but finally what God had promised happened, just as He had spoken.
Abraham named his son Isaac as God had commanded him [Genesis 17:19]. The name Isaac means “he laughs”. With great joy, Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me” [verse 6]. Abraham’s earlier laughter [Genesis 17:7] as well as Sarah’s [Genesis 18:12] were unbelieving responses to the miracle of Isaac’s birth, which to them still lay in the realm of impossibility! Now they were filled with joyful laughter. God, who is faithful to His word, delights to do what is impossible for men.
Three young Christian women in Korea needed to cross a flooded river. They knew the story of Peter walking on the water and thought that they could do the same. Tragically, the three women drowned. In Greek, there are two different words for word: logos and rhema. Logos is the general Word of God that we read in the Bible. Through the logos we can learn about God and His promises, but logos does not create faith. Rhema is a specific word to a specific person in a specific situation. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” [Romans 10:17]. In this verse the ‘word’ is rhema. Faith comes when God speaks a rhema word, to a specific person in a specific situation! The three women who drowned acted on the logos and not rhema.
Many years ago, we were in the process of adopting an Indonesian baby. In a remarkable way, God had given us a promise to “take this child and nurse her for Him.” The Muslim head of the religious office in Jakarta was blocking our way. Day after day he said to me, “Come back tomorrow”. I knew that what he wanted was for me to pay him a bribe, but I refused. I flew home to East Java feeling very discouraged. On the Sunday afternoon, as we were reading His word, God gave us a promise. “I will bring your children from the East and gather them in the West.” That word was quickened to my spirit and I knew that God had spoken to me. I returned to Jakarta the next day full of faith. Three days later, and after two more refusals, the Muslim head was promoted and replaced by a new man who gave us the permission we needed. God even moves heads of government departments so that His promises are fulfilled!
Can you remember a time when God gave you a specific promise and later fulfilled that promise? What emotions did you feel when that promised was fulfilled.
If someone asks you about faith, how would you explain difference between logos and rhema words?
Are you facing an impossible situation? Why not ask God to give you a specific promise that you can hold on to for that situation?