Year 2 Day 236
Read - Genesis 21
Message - Scott Woodburn
God is faithful to all that He promises. We often doubt Him and we sometimes wonder if He has forgotten us, but with certainty I say that God is faithful to all that He promises. In Genesis 21 we finally see the fulfilment of His promise to give Abraham and Sarah a son. This was an extraordinary promise. Abraham and his wife were nearing the end of their lives. How could such a couple ever have a child? With God all things are possible.
The time came for the Lord to visit Sarah as He had promised and He blessed her with a son called Isaac which means “he laughs”. Sarah had once laughed at God’s promise but now she understood that her new born and circumcised son (v4) would cause many to laugh at Sarah’s story (v6-7). This wouldn’t be mocking laughter but laughter filled with joy and praise as future generations considered the extraordinary promises of God.
If many would laugh with joy, unfortunately Abraham’s other son Ishmael laughed with scorn. One day Sarah saw Ishmael laughing at his little brother. We can’t be sure what Ishmael was doing but the connotation is that it wasn’t good. Perhaps he was mocking his brother? Perhaps there was a laugh with an underlying threat? We don’t know but Paul certainly suggests that the older brother persecuted the young brother (Galatians 4v29).
With God’s permission (v12) Hagar and Ishmael were sent away and after their water ran out they found themselves in a hopeless position. Hagar put her son under a bush to die (v15) and she left him for she did not wish to see his death (v16). But do you remember what we said at the beginning of this devotion? God is faithful to all that He promises.
Ishmael was not the promised child but the Lord had made it clear that he would have a future. The angel of the Lord (we believe THE angel of the Lord is Christ in the Old Testament) repeated the promise of God. Ishmael would not die under the bush but instead God would make him into a great nation (v18). Then the Lord provided a well of water for Hagar and her son (v19). God is faithful to all that He promises even to those who feel like hopeless outcasts.
As the chapter closes Abraham and Abimelech enter into a covenant relationship that would see any tension between the two men disappear. Abraham had dug a well that had been seized by Abimelech’s men. At that place Abraham gave Abimelech seven lambs to show that he had in fact built the well. The place was called Beersheba which means the “well of seven” or the “well of the oath”. If this covenant required both men to be faithful to their promises then it reminds us of a greater covenant in which God promises to be our God and we His people.
My brothers and sisters, we are instant people living in an instant age. We no longer want to wait for anything but instead prefer immediate gratification. Should we wait until tomorrow? No thanks we much prefer right now. Yet sometimes we are called to wait on the Lord. We may think Him to be slow and perhaps forgetful but He is neither of those things. I know and believe that our God is faithful to all that He promises. If He has said it, then He will do it. How can I be so confident? Because Christ’s tomb remains empty and He stands at the right hand of the Father. In Jesus all the promises of God are yes and amen. Friends, look to Jesus today in your waiting. Trust in Christ in your doubts. Nothing is too hard for Him. God is faithful to all that He promises.
Q5 Are there more Gods than one? There is but one only, the living and true God.