This Romans 4:17 has perplexed me here lately. It was quoted by one of the television evangelists as I have heard it quoted before ..... to calleth those things that be not as though they are.
The Message went further in their interpretation (which will stimulate me to hear, think/meditate/pray and do the WORD) to say that Abraham had an active part in LIVING the faith. He became a participant. His obedience was to the promise and oath of God. Although both he and Sarah had supposed dead desire, ability, seed ect., Abraham's faith brought him to LIVING THE WORD that proceeded out of the mouth of God. Yet in the words of Phillip Bailey something happened along the way....to the promise.
Sarah's idea, Hagar's willingness Abraham's passivity then Ishmael as result. This in essence did not involve faith/belief , but control issuing from self over Spiritual life = SIN. This did not involve Abraham's full matriculation in calling the not be as if it were in the be stage. Instead of death to the child and mother with possible placental rupture and to Abraham by possible head wound from a jealous spouse , then Sarah for her suggestion from a possible lightning strike, God's LOVE, grace, and mercy prevailed until the promise was fulfilled in Isaac. It took another touch of pain of separation from Ishmael for Abraham to be touched up to obey. Sarah on the other hand is not heard saying anything too much more to Abraham but yes Lord after nearly losing him to Hagar.
This may be why Mount Moriah was needed as the next test of God. When is your Mount Moriah coming and what will you do? Will a wonderful change be prayed for by you to ask for the Holy Spirit to control that flesh that you and I have that is soooo rebellious.