English blog

Romans 4:18 – beside expectation, on expectation 

18-12-2020 - Posted by Andre Piet

Who, being beyond expectation, believes in expectation, for him to become the father of many nations, according to that which has been declared, “Thus shall be your seed”.

This verse shows how expectation has marked Abraham’s life. Contrary to all human forecasts. GOD had once called upon Abram in the night to look up and count the stars in the crystal clear desert sky. An impossible task! After which GOD then declared: “thus shall be your seed!” (Gen.15: 5). GOD spoke and Abram acknowledged what GOD promised. GOD counted that to him as righteousness. That’s the point: saying amen to what GOD promises. Abram was also named after what GOD had told him: Abraham: “father of many nations”.

Strange as Paul literally puts it: “who being beside expectation believes in expectation”. Most translations render this unnecessarily freely, while a word-for-word rendering is understandable and accurate. Two prepositions: beside expectation and on expectation. In human terms, Abraham and Sarah had no reason to have expectation for the fulfillment of their desire to have children. They could put that expectation beside them. It was only on the basis of GOD’S word that they had any expectation of offspring. Abraham believed on that expectation! Human hope is set aside. We can build on GOD’S word!