Saturday, September 8, 2007

Genesis 21 - Isaac, Son of the Promise

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 Sarah’s benefit here than for Abraham’s. 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 sexual abuse towards Isaac.

mocking : laugh, mock, play

a) (Qal) to laugh

b) (Piel)

1) to jest

2) to sport, play, make sport, toy with, make a toy of

Ishmael 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.

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.

Fromthe 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 givenus 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.

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