That’s how old Abram was when God reminded him of a little conversation they’d had 24 years earlier. You will be the ancestor of a multitude of nations.
The waiting wasn’t easy. 24 years of waiting for a promise to come true might leave a person doubting if it was ever going to happen.
Abram had not been perfect while he waited. He and Sarai traveled. It wasn’t a vacation. It was a journey. And on the journey there were stops. Here’s one:
Abram gave his wife away, as his sister, to Pharaoh in Egypt. Abram got lots of stuff. Pharaoh got sick. Pharaoh found out that Abram had lied about Sarai. So Pharaoh ‘gave her back’ (that sounds so awful today!) and let Abram keep all the stuff.
Not one of Abram’s finer moments. But by the time he was 99 he had definitely learned not to make the same mistake again.
Well – maybe just once.
After the events of this week’s reading from Genesis 17:1- 7, 15-16, The changed-name Abraham did it again. This time he told King Abimelech that the changed-name Sarah was his sister. And the King took her as his wife. In the end, Abraham had Sarah and a whole bunch of stuff from the King with him as he left town.
Abraham and Sarah were by no means perfect. At 99, Abraham had a checkered past.
And God said, I’m going to be with you and your ancestors forever – no matter what.
Everlasting. That doesn’t mean, “If you do everything right, or if your ancestors all agree with each other. It means God said, I will be with you and your ancestors forever. No matter what.