Genesis 21

Genesis 21 has the big day – Sarah has a son and they name him Isaac.  God has fulfilled his promise to Abraham and the boy is born. Abraham circumcises him on the 8th day as he was commanded.  And Isaac grows and give Abraham the legacy that God promised.  Meanwhile Hagar, who was mother to the other son of Abraham, was laughing at Sarah in her old age.  It really ticks Sarah off and she goes to Abraham and tells him to do something about it.  Sarah wants Hagar cast out and sent away – after all – she is not truly the wife and mother of Abraham’s son.  Sarah seems to have a short memory that this was her idea in the first place.

Abraham is torn – after all – Ishmael was his son.  “The thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son”.  Let’s face it – Abraham wasn’t sure what was going to happen and he had fathered this son too.  God comes and gives Abraham direction – reminding him that “through Isaac shall your offspring be named” but also that He “will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring”.  So both sons will become the fathers of nations.  Abraham will leave a double legacy of two nations.  God’s message also was to put Hagar and Ishmael out of the camp – per Sarah’s request.  So he does.  He packs Hagar up with some water and their son and sends them on their way.

Things are not going well – Hagar is out of water and puts Ishmael under a bush to try and keep him from dying.  “She lifted up her voice and wept” crying out to God for help.  She was sure her son would die so she went a bit away so she didn’t have to watch.  But God heard her cries.  “God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water”. Amazing how that works isn’t it.  Hagar is sitting there in the middle of nowhere parched and on the edge of death and now God provides a well and she gathers water and gives her son a drink.  Since he was Abraham’s son and God has a plan for his future, “God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow”.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Abraham has a visit from Abimelech who is coming to make sure that his guest doesn’t get any crazy ideas and want to have a squabble.  He wants a peace treaty – that their offspring will live peacefully together.  So they discuss it and Abraham gave him some sheep to seal the deal – “the two men made a covenant” – and agreed to live peaceably with each other.  So now that they have that settled they begin a journey through the land of the Philistines.  Life is good – Abraham has two sons who will lead nations – and he is living out his dream in God’s provided land.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Brad Kowerchuk on June 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    In what way did the laughter of Abraham over the thought of having a son in their old age (Genesis 17:17) differ from the laughter of Sarah (Genesis 18:9-15 and 21:1-7)? And, how does that provide us guidelines on where laughter is appropriate?


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