Summary: In Genesis 21 we are blessed with a very important beginning, the beginning of the nation of Israel. Earlier in scripture, God had promised Abraham a son and now was fulfilling that promise in providing Isaac.
The Old contains the New and the New explains the Old. What that means is that the New Testament can be seen in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, God makes known predictions, prophecies, and typologies. And, in the revelation of these predictions, prophecies, and typologies, we can see the New Testament Jesus, the Son of God, revealed in the Old Testament. However, without the New Testament to explain the Old Testament, it would remain as mysterious predictions, unfulfilled prophecies, and vague typologies.
As you read and study the scriptures, each and every book of the Bible will have the crimson thread of Jesus’ divine nature intricately woven into it. If you are prayerfully reading and relying on the Spirit of the Holy God to guide and reveal the Word to you, this crimson thread can be found. It can then be
(2 Timothy 3:16~17) “…useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man [and woman] of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
As we have mentioned before, the book of Genesis is a book of beginnings. In the early chapters of the book, God created the earth and everything in it. But, we saw in chapter 3 of Genesis, man’s fall into sin, which began God’s work of reconciling man to Him.. In Genesis, Chapter 21, verses 1-34 we are blessed with a very important beginning, the beginning of the nation of Israel. Earlier in scripture, God had promised Abraham a son and now was fulfilling that promise in providing Isaac.
In Genesis, chapter 21, verses 1-34 we have four divisions that are set forth for us:
Promises of the past Remembered: 1-8
Promises of the past Extended: 9-13
Promises of the past Provided: 14-21
Promises of the past Professed: 22-34
II. The Message
a. Promises of the past Remembered: Genesis 21:1-8
Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah,
Romans 11:6) And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
God promised Abraham in Genesis 15, verse 5 “…Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be.” He promised him that Abraham’s descendants would be too numerous to count.
-God is gracious
Even though Sarah had laughed in unbelief when the Lord told Abraham she would give birth to a child in her old age, God still provided according to His endless mercy and abundant grace. But, it was not for her benefit that God provided the child, nor was it for the benefit of Abraham. God provided the child to fulfill the promise that He had made with Abraham. And, even then, it was out of grace that the child was provided. Meaning, that with the things that had been done by Abraham, [lies and adultery], and, Sarah’s unbelief, don’t’ you think that God would have been justified in withholding His grace and simply telling them, “Sorry, you didn’t believe me so I won’t give you a son”? But, God is not like that. He promised, He made a covenant with Abraham and swore by Himself that He would provide a descendant to Abraham. And, since He swore by Himself, for there is nothing higher than God, He will fulfill His promise.
God is gracious to you as well. He holds you in the palm of His hand. He has promised to never let you go, to never forsake you, and to provide for your every need. Even though you may sin, God is still God and is waiting for you to ask forgiveness so that He may continue working in your life.
Jesus knows your every need and has told us in scripture that He would provide for us. It doesn’t really make sense, does it? I mean, He gave us the faith to believe in Him in the first place. Then, He prompted our hearts to take that small bit of faith and put it in Him, the one that went to the cross to sacrifice Himself for us. Next, as we read the Bible, pray, and attend church, He keeps us along the straight path, the path to Him through the Word that is implanted in our hearts. God is gracious and abundant in His giving.
The gift that was given in Genesis 21 was given through grace and given to glorify God. Abraham and Sarah were provided a child in their old age not just to fulfill some covenant that God made with Abraham in Genesis 15, but to also let Abraham and Sarah know that they had nothing to do with the miracle of this child being born. Both Abraham and Sarah were not young anymore and Sarah was beyond the time of being able to have children even if she was not barren. This could only be explained as a miracle of God and nothing else. Only God could have allowed this to happen!