Bible Book: Romans / Romeine
Verse (to): 25
Text: Romans 4:13-25
Abraham’s perseverance in hope and faith is described almost graphically in verses 19 and 20: on the one hand he had God’s promise and on the other hand he was confronted with his and Sarah’s physical bodies that, at nearly 100 years old, were long past childbearing age. So what God had promised and what he perceived with his senses were two opposite realities.
Verse 18(a) tells us why Abraham is called the father of the believers: “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations”. If you compare a few different translations of verse 18, you will see how closely Paul links hope and faith here.
Abraham had God’s promise. He held onto it (remembered it). He continued to hope and believe and “it was credited to him as righteousness” (verse 22).
The second Sunday of Lent is known as “reminiscere” (remember/think about). We have so much more than Abraham to remember: He had God’s promise. We can hold onto God’s salvation through Jesus: “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (verse 25).
When, on the one hand, we are overwhelmed by a broken world in which our personal lives often look like dead-ends, we have, on the other hand, the memory of what Jesus did for us. The AIDS pandemic is part of this broken world that turned the lives of many people into dead-ends. Even in these circumstances we can profess: we believe in God “who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead” (verse 24). It is obvious that when Paul refers to Jesus who was raised from the dead, he implies that He had suffered and died for us.
Abraham had God’s promise – he continued hoping in a seemingly desperate situation – and kept on believing. We have God’s work of redemption in Jesus – and we can keep on believing in the midst of a seemingly hopeless situation … and keep on hoping.
Author: N du Toit (Ds)