Last week we saw the Lord protecting the integrity of the covenant by protecting Sarah from King Abimelech. (Remember how he had taken her to be one of his wives when she and Abraham entered his territory.)
This week we’re going to see the Lord protect the covenant again by making sure there’s no threat to Isaac being the sole recipient of his father Abraham’s estate and family lineage. Because remember, even though Isaac was the chosen one, Ishmael his half brother was still on the scene and by societal law he would have had access to Abraham’s estate even though he was the son of Abraham’s hand maid not Abraham’s wife.
Sao as we go through this passage we’ll once again see the faithfulness of God loud and clear as He fulfills His promise to Abraham and Sarah by giving them their son Isaac.
Now our response to the faithfulness of God should be faith in Him. Total and complete trust in the One who’s been so trustable. He so faithfully provided a Savior through the line of Abraham and we ought to respond to Him with faith.
That means that we don’t trust in our own works to establish a relationship with Him. That means we don’t try to earn our salvation with our good deeds and our morality. We realize that the faithful God asks us to trust Him for salvation. Him alone who so faithfully will deliver.
And this is something that’s spelled out in verse after verse after verse throughout the Bible. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
So if Scripture is so explicit about the means of salvation being faith, how come so many ‘Christian’ folks get caught up in a works-type salvation? How come so many people feel like they need to fulfill the Law, (10 commandments), for salvation?
Well, many people don’t quite understand the purpose of the Law of God and how it relates to having faith in God. The Law could never and should never take the place of faith in a person’s life. The Law of God does two main things in a person’s life:
1. The Law of God shows us God’s standards and principles for life.
2. The Law of God shows us our sin, (not achieving those standards).
The Law isn’t a means of salvation – it shows us the need for salvation. And that’s where
the faithfulness of God comes in. “But God demonstrated His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) When we put our faith in the Lord for what He’s done for us, then we’re saved. We are saved by faith.
But even though it’s clear how salvation is obtained, there are many that believe in upholding the Law of God either for salvation or to maintain.
[Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Church of Christ, Arminians, Baptists examples.]
If they would just go back and look at Genesis chapter 21 and reference it with Galatians chapter 4, they’d see how faith in God alone is the way of salvation. Works are not the way! So let’s look at the two sons of Abraham and see this great doctrine brought out.