Today’s passage: Genesis 21:1-21
- The son who was promised finally came. Way later than expected from Abraham’s and Sarah’s perspectives. Right on time from God’s.
- Abraham was 100 years old. Sarah was 90. Isaac was born 25 years after God had first promised his arrival.
- Isaac’s name means, laughter. Sarah and Abraham laughed at the idea of bearing a child in their old age. Now Ishmael laughs in mockery (Galatians 4:29).
- Before Abraham sent Hagar and teenage Ishmael away, God promised he would bless them.
- When Hagar felt she had been abandoned and left for dead, God began to fulfill his promise to her and Ishmael.
- The account of these two mothers and sons is used to illustrate the Old and New Covenants in Galatians 4:21-31.
Questions to consider:
- For a passage that contains such a grand answer to prayer and the fulfilment of a promise, it also contains much strife, jealousy, and controversy. Who provided the strife? Who fulfilled the promise? How does this reminds us of God’s grace to work His will in the midst of this world (Including our own sin)?
- What are the reasons Abraham would have been very displeased? In what way did he give evidence to his faith in God in today’s passage, though it went against his desire?
- In Paul’s illustration in Galatians 4, who represents the Old Covenant and Israel? Who represents the New Covenant and the Church? Why might this be hard to understand (A stumbling block) for the Jewish people who did not believe in Jesus?