Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Romans 4:18 (NIV)
The hope of the world rested on God’s promise of a child, and if Sarah died without a child, there would be no redeemer.
So there they were, Abraham at 100, and Sarah at 90, and they had no children. What hope was there of having a child? How would the one who brings God’s blessing for all nations come into the world? Abraham knew what was at stake.
Jesus said about him, “Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). More than that, Paul tells us: “Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham [saying]: ‘All nations will be blessed through you’” (Gal. 3:8).
Abraham saw that Christ would come. He saw what Christ would accomplish. And he saw that people from all nations would come to Christ. Abraham knew that the redeemer would be born into his line of descent, which did not yet exist.
When Abraham heard and understood this, he “was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God” (Rom. 4:20). This is what faith does: It glorifies God, exalts Him, and declares His praise.
Abraham looked forward to the coming of Christ. We look back from the other side of the cross. What do you see in Him?