One of my favorite movie quotes is when Vizzini in the Princess Bride keeps exclaiming, “Inconceivable!” One thing after the other happened that was counter to his expectation. His mind was too barren to conceive of the possibilities.
God made his intention clear that he intended to make a great nation of Abraham’s descendants (Gen. 15-18). However, his wife Sarah, barren all her life, is well advanced in years and beyond child bearing age.
Gen 18:9-15 NRSV
9 They [the messengers] said to him, "Where is your wife Sarah?" And he said, "There, in the tent." 10 Then one said, "I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?" 13 The LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, and say, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' 14 Is anything too wonderful for the LORD? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son." 15 But Sarah denied, saying, "I did not laugh"; for she was afraid. He said, "Oh yes, you did laugh."
The idea that Sarah could give birth was laughable. Thus the name “Isaac” which means laughter. It was inconceivable both biologically and conceptually.
Who could have imagined that Sarah would have a child? All evidence of the past and all understanding of biology would have said it was impossible for this old barren woman to give birth. In the same way, who could imagine that anything would change for humanity? All evidence was to the contrary. The present was what always had been and seemed always would be. Humanity was barren of true life. It was the illusion of the eternal present. But then God entered the picture and God is the God of the inconceivable.