"And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
'As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee,
and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram,
but thy name shall be Abraham;
for a father of many nations have I made thee.
And I will make thee exceedingly fruitful,
and I will make nations of thee;
and kings shall proceed from thee...'"
Ninety-nine years old, and called by the same name all his life.
Who names their baby that?
For ninety-nine years, he has been introduced as a father.
How many children do you have, exalted father?
I read a book to my children recently
which takes place in the Middle East,
and the father of sons bears his name proudly.
But the father of daughters is a bit of a loser.
Everyone pities him at his introduction.
You are the one who sires nothing but girls.
But here is Abram, exalted father of no one.
And the very name he has worn all these years,
given to him in hope, I am sure,
has mocked him.
Your marriage is fruitless.
Your riches will pass out of your house.
You are not a father.
The goal of his life was given to him at his birth,
and all his work had come to nothing.
He had a wife legendary for her beauty,
and barren as the desert.
God changed his name, but not as we might have.
He exalted him from a father to the father of a multitude.
And Sarai's name -- changed, too.
She went from my princess to princess.
In both cases, He confirmed their identity,
but seemed to make it His own work.
Not the inheritance of their father,
but the certain work of God.