Isaac, Son of the Promise
Gen 21:1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
The son seems to be given almost more for Sarahís benefit here than for Abrahamís. I do not think it too far afield to suggest that Sarah wanted that son more than Abraham did. Abraham loved Ishmael, the son of his flesh.
Gen 21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
It was 25 years after a son was promised to Abraham and Sarah. Sarah heard the promise at age 65 and she was given Isaac at 90 years of age.
Gen 17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
It was God's faithfulness, not Abraham's good works, that brought about the promised birth. Being past childbearing age, it was a miracle of God. It was God who promised the child; it was God who accomplished His word. And this was done right on schedule.
Gen 21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
Gen 21:4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.
Gen 17:10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
Gen 17:11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
Gen 17:12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
Gen 17:13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
Gen 21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
Gen 21:6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
The original skeptical laugh from Sarah, had turned into joyous laughter at his birth.
Gen 21:7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.
The birth of Isaac was an old testament type of the birth of Jesus.
Both sons were promised
Both were expected, but the timing remained with God
Both were given names from God, before they were born
Both births were miracles
Both births brought joy
Gen 21:8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
Gen 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
The flesh person always mocks the Spiritual. One Jewish scholar said that it was more than mocking, that there may have been physical abuse towards Isaac.
mocking : laugh, mock, playIshmael was 13 or 14 years older than Isaac, who may have been 3 at his weaning. A three year old would be no match for a 16 year old.
a) (Qal) to laugh
1) to jest
2) to sport, play, make sport, toy with, make a toy of
This is a type of the flesh warring with the spirit. The child of the flesh, Ishmael attacking the promised son, Isaac. This is explained by Paul in Galatians.
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Gen 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
From the beginning, the bondwoman despised Sarah.
Gen 16:4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
Now her son was mocking her promised son, Isaac. They must be cast out. On a personal level, we are to cast out the works that mock our relationship with the LORD, and follow the spirit.
Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
We are to walk in the freedom of grace and have Spiritual fruit.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gen 21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.
It was grievious to Abraham because he loved Ishmael, the son of his flesh. We also love our flesh, our old habits, our pleasures of the flesh. But, there comes a time when we must cast them out. We must not allow them to mock the new person of faith and promise.
Gen 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
It was God's will that Ishmael be removed from the house of the promised seed. The seed will continue through Isaac and Jesus would be the promised deliverer, the Messiah of God.
Ishmael was allowed to stay in the house without a word, but when Isaac came, then Ishmael had to go at last. He never takes away an "Ishmael" until he has given an "Isaac"! Because this is so, we need to be very careful about judging others. We may see Ishmaels in their lives and want to root them out, saying, "You must get rid of this habit." But when God takes away an Ishmael, he first gives an Isaac. In other words, he never tells us to give up some manifestation of self-indulgence until he has first given us some fruit of the Spirit of grace to take its place in satisfying that longing of the heart. However, when he does give us that manifestation of grace and blessing, then the self-indulgence has to go. (Steadman)
On a personal level, I had to give up some things, and when I did God opened up a new ministry to me: Eaglewings ministries. As we give up things that hinder we can reach out to others by God's grace abiding within. We are the people of the promise, the people of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is work to do, not bondage to sin, but spiritual fruit, because we love the LORD.
Ishmael - a separate nation
Gen 21:13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. This was promised earlier
Gen 16:11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
Gen 16:12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
Gen 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
Gen 17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
Gen 17:9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
Gen 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
Gen 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
Gen 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
Gen 17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
Gen 21:14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
Gen 21:15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
She sent the child under a shrub, to shelter him from the heat. The child was not a baby, but 16 yrs old.
Gen 21:16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.
Hagar was very upset and this upset Ishmael. Ishmael had been the favorite of Abraham and now he was thrown out into the hot wilderness. He too cried out, perhaps in prayer or feeling his mother's anguish, he cried too. They both were beside themselves with fear.
Gen 21:17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
Psa 102:17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.
The angel heard the voice of the lad, not a babies cry. Hagar was weeping, and God heard the voice of Ishmael, a son of Abraham. He had made a promise of blessings and of a great nation through Ishmael.
Gen 21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.
lad : a boy, lad, servant, youth, retainer
Word usage: young man 76, servant 54, child 44, lad 33, young 15, children 7, youth 6, babe 1, boys 1, young 1
Take hold on him with thine hand, and hold him up with it, he being so weak that he could not sit up without being supported:
Gen 21:19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.
Isa 41:17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
Isa 41:18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
Muslim Questioning the Bible? This is the Muslim view.
It now becomes evident that sometime after God sent down the Old Testament, someone decided that they did not want the Arab descendants of Ishmael to be included in God's covenant with Abraham. They wanted it exclusive to the Jewish branch of his descendants. Therefore, the Old Testament was "corrected" in order to show that God's intent was that His covenant be with the Jews only.Gen 21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.
It is most unlikely that a Christian will be able to speak to Muslims directly of Isaac as the son whom God called on Abraham to sacrifice without some reaction from them. Virtually every Muslim will interject that it was Ishmael and that the attempted sacrifice took place at Mina a few miles north-east of Mecca. It is universally believed in the Muslim world today that when Abraham had a vision in which he saw himself sacrificing his son, that son was Ishmael, the son of his slave-woman Hagar.
They have their own "holy book", the Quaran.
The wilderness required skill, God was with him and made him an archer, so that he could animals to eat.
Gen 21:21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
Egypt is a type of the world. Hagar came from Egypt and was a slave. She was a bond woman and not free. Abraham did not marry Hagar, although because of relations she was as a wife.
Gen 16:3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
The word used for wife is also translated, female or woman.
God sees the sexual union as becoming one flesh.
1 Cor 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
Putting away Hagar was as a bill of divorce.
She had no legitimate claim to the covenant which God gave through Abraham and Sarah. Isaac was a miracle birth. Ishmael was an act of human will and flesh. The seed of Abraham and Sarah would lead to Jesus, son of man(David), Son of God. The seed of Ishmael would lead to Mohammad. The message of Muslims is death to the infidels, carried out by violence. The Message of the Christian is life in Christ through the cross of Calvary. A christian seeks to convert unbelievers through the power of prayer and seeks peace with God and other people.
Gen 21:22 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:
Gen 21:23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
This is the second encounter with King Abimelech king of Gerar. The first was in Genesis 20 where Abraham deceitfully said that Sarah was his sister, because of fear of death. The LORD warned the king in a dream, and being of a good heart he blessed Abraham and sent him on his way.
Gen 20:14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
Gen 21:24 And Abraham said, I will swear.
He swore that he would not lie again to the king. If we lie, it is difficult to be trusted again. When we see leaders lying again and again, this makes us lose confidence in them.
Gen 21:25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.
Gen 21:26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.
The problem was over the ownership of the well that Abraham's servants had dug.
Gen 21:27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.
Gen 21:28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
Gen 21:29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?
Gen 21:30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.
Gen 21:31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.
Beersheba means "well of seven".
Gen 21:32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
Gen 21:33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.
They called on Adonai, one of the names of the God of Israel.
Gen 21:34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.
Genesis 1 Table of Contents