Read and meditate on Genesis 21:1-21
Pray and meditate on patience as we wait on the Lord to fulfill His promises
Sarah laughed at the prospect of her ability to bear a child this late in life (see Genesis 17:17 and 18:12). However, at the appointed time, the Lord fulfilled his promise. Despite the ridicule and regard of the impossibility. Yet, the birth of Isaac is subdued and matter-of-fact.
And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
What do we learn of Abraham? What do we learn about God?
We typically laugh with skepticism when God calls us to something where an extreme faith is required. Sometimes, it is through circumstances. Other times, it is in a still, small, and quiet voice. Yet, like Abraham, we may become inpatient with God. Our faith in God is lacking. We desire for Him to move in our lives according to our own will and desire. We forget that it is not God who waits upon us, it is us who wait upon the Lord (see Isaiah 40:31, ESV) are strengthened and endure.
God’s promises are fulfilled in His set time
As we meditate on the fulfilling of God’s promise in the conception of Isaac, let us understand God’s character. His providence is observed in how He acts as He has spoken.
Isaac is born according to God’s divine and sovereign purpose
God’s word does not return without void (see Isaiah 55:11). It does not come back empty. Instead, God’s word goes out with purpose and intention to be fulfilled. The fulfillment occurs through the Lord’s mercy upon Sarah. He is faithful in visiting her and fulfilling the blessings he promised.
We also learn that God is always punctual in His set time of fulfilling blessings and promises. They do not come at our own desired time and within our set desires.
Isaac’s birth is one of virtue of God’s promise
In Hebrews 11:11, we read of Sarah’s faith:
By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.
Through our faith in God, and God’s divine and sovereign providence, we are given strength. Not through common providence, but by God’s divine power and glory. This empowers us, as believers, to do that which may be above the power of human nature. To accomplish God’s good will and pleasure (see Philippians 2:13, ESV).
Abraham’s obedience to God’s precept
Abraham named his son Isaac. Which means Laughter: God has made laughter for me (v. 6). Abraham is the patriarch of his family. He obeyed God’s direction and named his son. A memorial name.
Along with this obedience, Abraham circumcised Isaac. In Ancient tradition, circumcision was a sacred and covenant ritual (see Genesis 17:10-14, ESV). Today, our covenant is based on the circumcision of our heart (see Romans 2:25-29, ESV) as we place our faith and hope in Jesus Christ, and through God’s divine Sovereign Grace.
Filled with Joy
We learn that we are capable of experiencing true Joy through God. His mercy is upon us as we are encouraged to work and serve Him. Our Joy is in the Lord because we acknowledge that He is the author of it. This becomes true when we endure with long suffering and show faithful patience of God’s fulfilling promises in our lives.
It also helps us know that those around us rejoice in God’s fulfilling promised blessings. They, too, see God’s divine provisions and Sovereign Grace. Together, we rejoice in thanksgiving, blessing God. We are also filled with wonder.
Where do we go from here and God’s message for us today
Is there a time when God has called you to exhibit extreme faith in Him and His promises? How did you endure? What was your own reaction when he fulfilled His promises?
Like Abraham, we are called to exhibit extreme faith and endure long suffering and Godly patience. Waiting upon the Lord’s timing and fulfilling His promises. We may doubt, may even laugh (with ridicule of the impossibility); yet, our faith is in a God who makes way for us to experience a greater joy in seeing His promises fulfilled.