Remember “El Olam”, the Everlasting God! Genesis 21:33

Devotional by Pastor Joshua Hall, Faith Presbyterian Church of Quincy Illinois, April 28, 2020

Good Morning, Brothers and Sister!

As we continue our Remember series, we look to God’s past faithfulness to know that God is still faithful to us and will always be faithful! I say, “God is good”, to which you say, “all the time.” I say “all the time” and you finish, “God is good”.

Today we are going to consider another name of God, “El Olam” (el o-lawm’), “the Everlasting God” or the “God of Eternity”. We find this name of God in Genesis 21:33 which says,

Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God.

Let us pray…

You may be familiar with God’s servant, Abraham, whom God declared to be his own friend. God had called Abraham to leave his country and his people to go to a land God would show him. God promised to bless Abraham, making his a great nation with too many descendants to count. He promised to give Abraham the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. We read about this in Genesis 12 and 15.

But Abraham grew old. He had no child of his own, so Sarah decided to give him her servant as a second wife. Abraham and Hagar had a son they named Ishmael. But Hagar didn’t get along with Sarah. You can read more about this painful story in Genesis 16. Abraham suffered no little distress during this ordeal! 

Ultimately, God granted Abraham and Sarah a child of their own in their old age, Sarah was 90, and Abraham 100 when Isaac was born. You can read about this in Genesis 17, 18 and 21.

In chapter 21 we see God’s faithfulness to Abraham in three different events. I believe this is why Abraham called God “El Olam”, “the Everlasting God” or the “God of Eternity”, because he experience the Everlasting God who is faithful. Again, God is good, all the time!

In the first 7 verses of Genesis 21, we find the miraculous birth of the long-promised child, Isaac. God had been faithful to his promise to give Abraham and Sarah a son, even in their old age! Then in verses 8-21 we see God’s faithfulness to Hagar and Ishmael, Abraham’s second wife and first child. Sarah threw them out, but for Abraham’s sake, God protected, provided for, and blessed them! And finally, in the remainder of the chapter, we see God providing Abraham with the provision of a well. God also gave him peace with his neighbors, Abimelech and his people. Humanly speaking, Abimelech could have been a threat to Abraham, but he came to fear the Lord, and out of that fear of the God of Abraham, Abimelech entered into a peace treaty with Abraham.

It is in this context of God’s faithfulness, after many years of waiting upon the Lord, that Abraham declares God to be “El Olam”, “the Everlasting God” or the “God of Eternity”.

Beloved, God is still “El Olam”. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Abraham’s life was not always easy, but God blessed him with many blessings. God provided for him, protected him, and gave him many promises. And the God of Abraham is our God. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, the this faithful God is your loving heavenly father, and he never changes, nor is he distant, nor will he ever come to an end. 

If God was faithful to Abraham, he will be faithful to you and to me. No matter what problems you may face, no matter the trouble you’ve known, God is still there for you! His grace and mercy are offered freely to all! Do not worry or be afraid, trust in God! He will provide for and protect you, and he will grant you many blessings in Jesus Christ, for God loves all his children, all who place their faith in Jesus Christ! May God grant you such a deep awareness of God’s faithfulness that you may praise him! Praise “El Olam”!

Let us pray…

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