Abraham – Holding Fast To The Will Of God

Lesson 11: “Forgiven, But Facing The Consequences” Genesis 21:1-21


“ Sarah…bore a son…at the very time God had promised.” Genesis 21:2


An impossibility becomes a reality

·        When the time was right, God did "what he had promised" (21:1). Jesus was born "when the time had fully come" (Gal. 4:4). That was an extension of the promise to Abraham and Sarah.

·        How wonderful that we serve a God that does what He says (Titus 1:1-3). This promise of a son had been made from the beginning (12:3)

·        Abraham named his son Isaac, just as God had commanded a year before (17:19) Like the new names of his parents, Isaac's name is a constant reminder of something.

·        The news that Sarah was a mother must have been a shock for the household! (21:6,7)


Happiness turned sour

·        Abraham held a great feast for Isaac when he was weaned, probably around the age of 2 or 3. Watching all this was Ishmael, now in his mid-teens. He reacted quite negatively, and mocked Isaac (21:9).

·        Consider what Ishmael must have been experiencing. For 13 years, he probably thought and had been told that he was God's promised heir. Now, he knew he was a "mistake".

·        Ishmael's hostility brought back feelings of anger and bitterness in Sarah. (21:10). She remembered how Hagar treated  her when Ishmael was born (16:4) Her reaction then was to get rid of Hagar and her son. Now, she has the same reaction.

·        Once we become bitter and angry, it takes very little to regenerate those feelings again.


Acting responsibly

·        Abraham was understandably distressed by this (21:11). Won't the past ever go away? When will there be peace in this household? Why does Sarah persecute my son and his mother?

·        The first time this all happened, Abraham evaded his responsibilities and made Sarah responsible for Hagar's future. Now, Abraham responds maturely. He does what he should have done long ago, and waits on the Lord. (21:12)


Release from guilt

·        God knew that as long as Hagar and Ishmael remained in the household there would be trouble. So, God puts Abraham's mind at ease, and says not to worry about them (21:12).

·        Abraham did care for Ishmael. It must have been very difficult to see him go off into the wilderness. Did that require faith?

·        God again promised to take care of Ishmael, and to bless him (21:13,18) and delivers him and Hagar from death in the wilderness. (21:17)


3 Principles


#1) Most of us will experience the results of past sins at some point in our lives.

#2) No matter what the results of sin are, God wants us to accept reality and face the problem maturely.

#3) Many problems we face as Christians are caused by the effects of sin in the world.


For next week, read Genesis 22:1-19