Spring Forward
Sunday March 5, 2023 - Pastor Wungreiso Valui
Genesis 15-21


Abraham, Sarah, and God's promise.

Longing, lament, laughter, and rejuvenation. Genesis 15-21


God rejuvenates His people. Spiritual rejuvenation happens when there is divine intervention.

Nothing is too hard for the LORD! The sighs of longings, the cries of lament, and disbelieving laughter can be part of the story of rejuvenation and joy.


And the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?' 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. But Sarah denied it, saying, "I did not laugh," for she was afraid. And He said, "No, but you did laugh! Genesis 18:13-15

What & When

The new sermon series "Rejuvenation" begins in March and ends in May. God leads us to the path of rejuvenation when our own resources are depleted ("He leads me beside the still water." Psalms 23:2b)


Rejuvenation can happen when there is an intervention. To be more specific, spiritual rejuvenation happens when there is a divine intervention. When you read the Scripture, the Bible heroes, every one of them, experienced spiritual rejuvenation because of God's intervention.


Rejuvenation is breathing new life and new energy and being more effective by using new ideas and methods. This is why rejuvenation is vital, and it requires pruning, shedding, resetting, and healing.

As we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we face the question of what is normal. Our life after quarantine and isolation is not the same and should not be the same. We should not go back to life as it was. The pandemic gave us an opportunity to restart our lives and relaunch our work.

Let the church-wide emphasis on a sabbatical year remind you that God rejuvenates His people, and it is He "Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." Psalms 103:5d like the eagle's." Psalms 103:5


The Promise

When we first met Abraham and Sarah, God made a promise to Abraham. He was 75, and Sarah was 65 years old.

Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family, And from your father's house To a land that I will show you. 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." Genesis 12:1-3

Abraham and Sarah's rejuvenation story began when they departed from Haran to go to the land of Canaan.

The Longing

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward." But Abram said, "Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" Then Abram said, "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!" Genesis 15:1-3
  1. Abraham and Sarah's initial journey began with disaster in Egypt they were immigrants, and their economic condition was becoming progressively worse.
  2. Abraham expressed his longing to have an heir. If he goes childless, Eliezer, his servant, will be the heir of his house.
  3. Abraham and Sarah were living in the "Between"- living in between the promise and unfulfilled future.

To live in the "Between" can consume us while seeking our unmet longings.
Question: How many of us are living in the "between?"

The Lament

"Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children... So Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children." Genesis 16:1-2
  1. Sarah's unmet longings forced her to lament.
  2. She willingly introduced a competitor for Abraham's affection in order to fulfill her unmet longings.
  3. Sarah's lament is a voice of anguished cries about living in the "Between"

Living in the "Between" forces us to lament. The greater the lament of unfulfilled promise, the greater the joy will be when God rejuvenates us.
Questions: What is your lamentation?
Is your prayer for help coming out of pain?

The Laughter

"Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?" Genesis 17:17
Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" Genesis 18:12
  1. Abraham and Sarah had an uncontrollable incredulous laughter at God's promise.
  2. They faced famine in the land of Canaan.
  3. They struggled and faced many challenges for 10 years in Egypt as immigrants.
  4. They have been without offspring for 15 years since God first appeared to Abraham.
  5. Both Abraham and Sarah find God's promise to be unbelievable and ridiculous.

They laughed with uncertainty and unbelief, and it was an uneasy uncontrollable laughter.
Questions: Have you ever responded with a nervous laugh at God's promise?
Have you ever wanted to laugh but hide your true feelings because you were afraid?

The Rejuvenation

"As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. Genesis 17:4-5

The rejuvenation of Abraham and Sarah began with God's intervention

New Name For Abram

  1. At the age of 99, God gave Abram (Exalted father) a new name- Abraham (Father of multitudes)
  2. God intervened in Abram's life and made him a father of many nations.
"As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her." Genesis 17:15-16

A New Name For Sarai

  1. At the age of 89, Sarai got a new name- Sarah
  2. God changed her name Sarai meaning princess, to Sarah, a mother of nations

A new name is a sign of the covenant.
A new name is a sign of new life.
A new name is a sign of conversion.
A new name was followed by circumcision.

"That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael; and all the men of his house, born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him." Genesis 17:26-27

A Son Was Born

Genesis 21:1-6
  1. God heard Abraham and Sarah's sigh of longings, the anguished lament, and turned the unbelieving laughter into joyous laughter.

The Blessings Continued...

Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Genesis 25:1-2
  1. God's blessing did not end with Isaac
  2. God gave Abraham six more sons.

Your Takeaway

  1. Spiritual rejuvenation happens when there is a divine intervention.
  2. Spiritual rejuvenation is not limited to a one-time experience.
  3. Ask yourself, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"