Saturday, September 15, 2012
Are you starting to believe? Well here are some words of affirmation to God’s promises.
1 The LORD kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. 2 She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would.3 And Abraham named their son Isaac. 4 Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. 5 Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. 6 And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. 7 Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!”
8 When Isaac grew up and was about to be weaned, Abraham prepared a huge feast to celebrate the occasion.9 But Sarah saw Ishmael—the son of Abraham and her Egyptian servant Hagar—making fun of her son, Isaac. 10 So she turned to Abraham and demanded, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son. He is not going to share the inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won’t have it!” 11 This upset Abraham very much because Ishmael was his son.12 But God told Abraham, “Do not be upset over the boy and your servant. Do whatever Sarah tells you, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted. 13 But I will also make a nation of the descendants of Hagar’s son because he is your son, too.” 14 So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. 16 Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears. 17 But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.” 19 Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer, 21 and he settled in the wilderness of Paran. His mother arranged for him to marry a woman from the land of Egypt.
22 About this time, Abimelech came with Phicol, his army commander, to visit Abraham. “God is obviously with you, helping you in everything you do,” Abimelech said. 23 “Swear to me in God’s name that you will never deceive me, my children, or any of my descendants. I have been loyal to you, so now swear that you will be loyal to me and to this country where you are living as a foreigner.” 24 Abraham replied, “Yes, I swear to it!” 25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well that Abimelech’s servants had taken by force from Abraham’s servants. 26 “This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Abimelech answered. “I have no idea who is responsible. You have never complained about this before.” 27 Abraham then gave some of his sheep, goats, and cattle to Abimelech, and they made a treaty.28 But Abraham also took seven additional female lambs and set them off by themselves. 29 Abimelech asked, “Why have you set these seven apart from the others?” 30 Abraham replied, “Please accept these seven lambs to show your agreement that I dug this well.” 31 Then he named the place Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”), because that was where they had sworn the oath. 32 After making their covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech left with Phicol, the commander of his army, and they returned home to the land of the Philistines. 33 Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he worshiped the LORD, the Eternal God. 34 And Abraham lived as a foreigner in Philistine country for a long time.
There is a lot to cover in this chapter! It begins with God’s fullfilness of His promise to Sarah. The fact that Sarah and Abraham were really old did not stop God from giving them the child He promised. The bible tells us that Sarah had her child at the time God had said she would. Here is evidence that God never lies or promises something He can’t do. He never fails in His Promises, and He is always right on time. The story of Hagar and Ishmael is also presented in this chapter. Ishmael, now a teen, mocked at the birth of Isaac, no doubt feeling very superior, yet jealous at the joy this younger brother had brought into the home (21:6-8) and at the promises to be fulfilled through Isaac . Despite the promises made to Ishmael and his descendants (17:20; 21:13), the covenant of the salvation of the human race through the promised Seed of the woman was to be through Isaac (Gen 21:12). But the amazing thing about God’s Promptness is that when Hagar cried out loud in the wilderness. She was in desperate need of a Savior. Hagar had lost her home, food, and husband. She was humiliated and thrown out of Abraham’s house with her child. Being a foreigner and all of this happening we can say that Hagar was a broken hearted lady. But God heard her cry for the second time and talks to her! God came to give her and Ishmael hope, water to drink, and something to look for once his son grew up. The same for us today, Jesus came down to talk to us, to give us living water, and a hope of a better place beyond our imagination.
Dear Father, We thank you for this Sabbath, in which you declared Holy to you. Help us keep your Sabbath according to your will. Thank you for coming down to this pale blue dot and decided to choose us to talk to and giving us your only Son as a living water, thank you for giving us the promise that you will come back for us. We know that you will never fail us. In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.