I have little sympathy for Elizeir of Damascus. Perhaps I should, but I have known too many trust fund kids, secure in the knowledge that Mum and / or Dad will bail them out of any troubles, and knowing if they live long enough they will inherit the lot. Under NZ law, new children cannot take an inheritance, completely.
I am of the age (about ten years older than the current first Lady) that it would be a miracle for my beloved to conceive. Our children are grown. Sarai was known as a woman who could not have kids.. To believe that you would conceive — not in your 50s but approaching 100 — required great faith in the promises of God.
11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.Hebrews 11:1-3, NASB
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,Genesis 15:1-6, NASB
“Do not fear, Abram,
I am a shield to you;
Your reward shall be very great.”
2 Abram said, “O Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” 4 Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5 And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your [i]descendants be.” 6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Paul commented on this passage in Hebrews, knowing he merely needed to allude to the text, for it was known to his audience.
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.Hebrews 11:8-16
13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not [e]ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
Our faith is not in ourselves. It is not in any world we can make, a new soviet Jerusalem. It is in a living God, who can bring us back from the verge of death, and plant a new growth where the nations of this world state all faith has gone.