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Surprise Company!
By Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards

Surprise company

Text Version | Afrikaans | Greek | Italian

        Justin was buzzing around the room with excitement. He had just had a little talk on his father's lap and he couldn't wait for the big day. Going fishing with his dad was one of his favorite things. But this time it was even MORE exciting.

        “We're going to go to the BIG lake, and we're going to stay all night in the tent,” he told his friends with a high squeally voice. “And we're even going to rent a boat!”

Boy with fishing gear, going fishing         Justin spent a lot of time daydreaming about the coming adventure. He just KNEW he was going to catch the biggest fish ever. He thought about what it would be like to sleep outside in the tent. He thought about the marshmallows they would roast over the fire. He thought about spending the WHOLE WEEKEND with his dad. Three weeks is certainly a l-o-n-g time to have to wait.

        After just a few days, Justin's excitement was beginning to wear down. In fact … he was even beginning to wonder if he would ever get to GO on the big trip. Every day when his father came home from work, he would start questioning: “When are we going, Dad? How many more days will it be? Are you sure we are going to get to go?” And every day his father would gently reassure him.

        “Yes, Justin. I'm absolutely sure we are going to get to go on this weekend fishing trip. All the arrangements have been made. It will be a few more days, and you will need to try to have patience. I PROMISE that we will go.”

        Justin laughed and gave his dad a hug. He knew that his father would keep his promise, but it was still hard to have to wait … and wait … and WAIT.

Dad, son and dog in boat with a big fish on the line         FINALLY, the day arrived. They awoke very early in the morning and packed the car. Justin helped as much as he could. He certainly didn't want his dad to forget the fishing poles!

        They had a fantastic weekend fishing and camping together, and Justin had plenty of fun stories to tell his friends when he went back home. He was really anxious to tell them that HE had caught the biggest fish!

The Children\'s Chapel - Award-winning site, featuring Bible stories from a variety of authors, excellent Christian resources for children, and over 140 links to other Christian and family-friendly sites for kids

        Thirteen years had passed since the birth of Ishmael. Things were not going very well in the household. Sarai was still unhappy because she did not have a child of her very own. Hagar and Sarai just could not get along because there was so much jealousy and hatred between them. No matter how much he tried, Abram could not keep peace in the family.

        Of course, the Lord knew exactly what was happening, and one day — when Abram was ninety-nine years old — the Lord came down to have a talk with him. The conversation went something like this:

God speaks to Abraham         “ABRAM … I am the Almighty God. If you will walk before Me and be righteous, I will make a promise to you. I will give you many descendants…”

        Abram knew the voice of the Lord because he had heard it a number of times before. Without speaking, he fell with his face to the ground, in reverence to the Lord.

        While Abram was kneeling, God continued to speak:

        “My covenant promise is with you, and you will be the father of many nations. I am also going to change your name.”

        “Change my name? I wonder what my new name will be,” Abram thought to himself.

        The Lord continued speaking:

God promises to give Abraham many descendants         “Your name will no longer be Abram. Your name will now be Abraham. I will make you the father of many nations and your descendants will live in the land of Canaan.”

        WOW! What a wonderful experience! The Lord was encouraging Abram by repeating the promise he had made many years earlier…but the Lord was not finished talking with Abraham yet.

        “As for your wife Sarai,” the Lord said, “don't call her Sarai anymore. Her new name will be Sarah. I will bless her and give her a son. She will be the mother of many nations.”

        THIS was something new that Abraham had not heard before. He couldn't believe his ears! He started laughing out loud. It was nearly impossible to believe that Sarah would be having a child of her very own. Why, she was NINETY years old! She was old enough to be a great-great-grandmother!

        The Lord knew what Abraham was thinking. He repeated the promise:

        “Sarah, your wife, will have a son, and when he is born, you will name him Isaac. My covenant promise will be through Isaac.”

        The Lord continued:

        “I know you love Ishmael very much, and I will bless him, and he will also become a great nation. But my covenant promise will be with Isaac, the child which will be born to Sarah at this time next year.”

        Abraham was shocked and amazed by what the Lord had spoken to him and kept all these things in his heart.

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        Not long after the covenant promise was made between Abraham and the Lord, Abraham was sitting near the door of his tent, trying to rest and get some fresh air, because it was a very hot day.

Abramham sees three visitors coming         Abraham looked into the distance and saw three men coming toward him. He jumped up and ran to meet them and bowed to them.

        "It is such a hot day. Please come to my tent and let me give you some cool water,” Abraham said politely. “I will also get some food for you while you rest; then you can be on your way.”

        The three men agreed.

        Abraham hurried into the tent to let Sarah know that they had visitors. “Quickly! Make three cakes for the guests!” he said breathlessly.

        Then he went into the pasture and got a calf. He gave it to one of his servants. “Three strangers have come to visit. Prepare the calf so I can serve them food,” he commanded.

        While they were enjoying their meal outside in the fresh air, they were also enjoying one another's company.

        “Where is Sarah, your wife?” one of them asked.

        “In the tent,” Abraham replied.

        Then one of the guests said something surprising. “I will come back in a few months, and when I do, Sarah, your wife, will have a son.&“dquo;

        When Sarah heard THAT, she just couldn't believe it!

        “I am NINETY years old,” she thought, “and Abraham is NINETY-NINE years old. There is just no WAY I can have a child!” The idea was absolutely impossible, and she would have liked to burst into wild laughter, but she knew that would be rude, so she laughed quietly to herself.

Abraham walks along beside the three strangers         “Why did Sarah laugh and say she was too old? Is anything too hard for the Lord?” the man asked. “I will return and when I do, Sarah will have a son,” he said again.

        Sarah became afraid. She didn't think she had laughed out loud. She wondered how the man knew what she was thinking. “I didn't laugh,” Sarah spoke quietly.

        “Oh, yes you did,” the man replied.

        Then the three visitors got up to leave and started walking down the road toward Sodom. Abraham walked along beside them, quietly wondering about the events of the day.



1. What was Abram's new name?
2. What was Sarai's new name?
3. What is a covenant?
4. Why did Abraham laugh?
5. Why did Sarah laugh?
6. Is anything too hard for God?


         Nothing is too difficult for God!


“The things which are impossible with men
are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).


“Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven
and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm,
and there is nothing too hard for thee” (Jeremiah 32:17)

“…In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall
every word be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1b).


Have you ever been given a promise from the Lord or read something in the Bible that touched your heart and then had someone come along and tell you the exact same thing?

[After discussion:] God really wants you to believe his promises to you. He will even confirm them more than once, either by his Word or sometimes even by sending others to confirm them. So, be determined to believe God for his promises to you, no matter how impossible they may seem.


Dog and boy praying

Dear God, thank You for all the promises You've given
to us in your Word, the Bible. Help us to remember
that even though something may seem impossible,
nothing is too hard for You and You will always
keep your promises.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Genesis 17:1-27 and 18:1-16


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