And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. Gen 21:1
This is my favorite verse in today’s reading! The LORD does what He says He will do! You know, Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for the fulfilling of the promise. Abram was 75 years old when he entered Canaan (Gen 12:4), when the LORD first told him that he would have descendants who would inherit the land; and he was 100 when Isaac was born (Gen 21:5). Even before he arrived in Canaan, while they were still living in Ur of the Chaldaeans, it was said of Sarah that she was barren (Gen 11:30). So when Abraham was 75 and Sarah 65, after being barren her whole adult life, it did take faith to believe that God would do as He promised.
She believed in faith until her change of life, for that is what I believe happened, and why Sarah, after remaining faith-FULL for ten years, suddenly changed her mind and said to Abram that the LORD had restrained her from having children, and that Abram should go in to her maid (Gen 16:1-2).
I searched before the Hagar incident, and in every place that God reaffirmed His promise to Abraham, it was that Abraham’s descendents would be from his own body, without mentioning that they would be by Sarah. Then after the birth of Ishmael, there is no record of the LORD appearing to Abram or saying anything to him for thirteen years. Perhaps in the meantime, Sarah had become content with the idea that the promise to Abraham would be fulfilled through Hagar’s son. Perhaps in the meantime, she had died to self.
And then after thirteen years of silence, God appeared to Abraham, to tell him that He will bless Sarah and give Abraham a son by her, that she will be the mother of nations and kings (Gen 17:15-16). Abraham didn’t believe it! God emphatically reaffirmed it, three times (Gen 17:19 and Gen 18:10, 14). Then Sarah laughed – she didn’t believe it either!
But God did what HE had said, whether they were able to believe it by that time or not! If you are also waiting for your promise to come to pass, take heart! God will do as He has said! His timing is perfect!
For further study: There are more titles of God introduced if anyone is keeping track of them, and another test of Abraham’s faith, followed by another reaffirmation of the promise if anyone is keeping track of them. Every time the promise is reaffirmed, God adds to it. How has Abraham invariably responded to God’s commands throughout his life? How has God invariably responded to Abraham’s obedience? What does that mean for us? Why did God test Abraham’s faith so often (hint: today’s reading in the Psalms has a clue)? What can we learn about the tests we go through in life?
Finding Messiah: The binding of Isaac in Gen 22 foretells by type of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ – read the link The Akedah (below) to discover how.
Three times in Gen 22 Isaac is called the only son of Abraham. But what about Ishmael? Isaac is the ONLY Promised Seed, begotten by the will of God and not of the flesh or of the will of man (Joh 1:13). It is a prophecy of Messiah. Three is furthermore the number of Messiah in Torah (for the number of days between His crucifixion and resurrection). Moses wrote about Messiah (Joh 5:46), but what he wrote about Him is veiled. This is why someone can read Torah their whole lives, and yet not see Messiah in it until the Lord opens their eyes (Luk 24:27), and then He is everywhere in it!