The Birth of Isaac 21 1 The Lord k visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah l as he had promised. 2 And Sarah m conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age n at the time of which God had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, o Isaac. 1 4 And Abraham p circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, q as God had commanded him. 5 r Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 And Sarah said, s “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” 7 And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? t Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” God Protects Hagar and Ishmael 8 And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9 But Sarah u saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, v laughing. 1 10 So she said to Abraham, w “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” 11 And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for x through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13 And I will make y a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of z Beersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then a God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness b and became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
21 1 וַֽיהוָ֛ה פָּקַ֥ד אֶת ־ שָׂרָ֖ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר אָמָ֑ר וַיַּ֧עַשׂ יְהוָ֛ה לְשָׂרָ֖ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֵּֽר ׃ 2 וַתַּהַר֩ וַתֵּ֨לֶד שָׂרָ֧ה לְאַבְרָהָ֛ם בֵּ֖ן לִזְקֻנָ֑יו לַמּוֹעֵ֕ד אֲשֶׁר ־ דִּבֶּ֥ר אֹת֖וֹ אֱלֹהִֽים ׃ 3 וַיִּקְרָ֨א אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֶֽת ־ שֶׁם ־ בְּנ֧וֹ הַנּֽוֹלַד ־ ל֛וֹ אֲשֶׁר ־ יָלְדָה ־ לּ֥וֹ שָׂרָ֖ה יִצְחָֽק ׃ 4 וַיָּ֤מָל אַבְרָהָם֙ אֶת ־ יִצְחָ֣ק בְּנ֔וֹ בֶּן ־ שְׁמֹנַ֖ת יָמִ֑ים כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה אֹת֖וֹ אֱלֹהִֽים ׃ 5 וְאַבְרָהָ֖ם בֶּן ־ מְאַ֣ת שָׁנָ֑ה בְּהִוָּ֣לֶד ל֔וֹ אֵ֖ת יִצְחָ֥ק בְּנֽוֹ ׃ 6 וַתֹּ֣אמֶר שָׂרָ֔ה צְחֹ֕ק עָ֥שָׂה לִ֖י אֱלֹהִ֑ים כָּל ־ הַשֹּׁמֵ֖עַ יִֽצְחַק ־ לִֽי ׃ 7 וַתֹּ֗אמֶר מִ֤י מִלֵּל֙ לְאַבְרָהָ֔ם הֵינִ֥יקָה בָנִ֖ים שָׂרָ֑ה כִּֽי ־ יָלַ֥דְתִּי בֵ֖ן לִזְקֻנָֽיו ׃ 8 וַיִּגְדַּ֥ל הַיֶּ֖לֶד וַיִּגָּמַ֑ל וַיַּ֤עַשׂ אַבְרָהָם֙ מִשְׁתֶּ֣ה גָד֔וֹל בְּי֖וֹם הִגָּמֵ֥ל אֶת ־ יִצְחָֽק ׃ 9 וַתֵּ֨רֶא שָׂרָ֜ה אֶֽת ־ בֶּן ־ הָגָ֧ר הַמִּצְרִ֛ית אֲשֶׁר ־ יָלְדָ֥ה לְאַבְרָהָ֖ם מְצַחֵֽק ׃ 10 וַתֹּ֙אמֶר֙ לְאַבְרָהָ֔ם גָּרֵ֛שׁ הָאָמָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את וְאֶת ־ בְּנָ֑הּ כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יִירַשׁ֙ בֶּן ־ הָאָמָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את עִם ־ בְּנִ֖י עִם ־ יִצְחָֽק ׃ 11 וַיֵּ֧רַע הַדָּבָ֛ר מְאֹ֖ד בְּעֵינֵ֣י אַבְרָהָ֑ם עַ֖ל אוֹדֹ֥ת בְּנֽוֹ ׃ 12 וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶל ־ אַבְרָהָ֗ם אַל ־ יֵרַ֤ע בְּעֵינֶ֙יךָ֙ עַל ־ הַנַּ֣עַר וְעַל ־ אֲמָתֶ֔ךָ כֹּל֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר תֹּאמַ֥ר אֵלֶ֛יךָ שָׂרָ֖ה שְׁמַ֣ע בְּקֹלָ֑הּ כִּ֣י בְיִצְחָ֔ק יִקָּרֵ֥א לְךָ֖ זָֽרַע ׃ 13 וְגַ֥ם אֶת ־ בֶּן ־ הָאָמָ֖ה לְג֣וֹי אֲשִׂימֶ֑נּוּ כִּ֥י זַרְעֲךָ֖ הֽוּא ׃ 14 וַיַּשְׁכֵּ֣ם אַבְרָהָ֣ם ׀ בַּבֹּ֡קֶר וַיִּֽקַּֽח ־ לֶחֶם֩ וְחֵ֨מַת מַ֜יִם וַיִּתֵּ֣ן אֶל ־ הָ֠גָר שָׂ֧ם עַל ־ שִׁכְמָ֛הּ וְאֶת ־ הַיֶּ֖לֶד וַֽיְשַׁלְּחֶ֑הָ וַתֵּ֣לֶךְ וַתֵּ֔תַע בְּמִדְבַּ֖ר בְּאֵ֥ר שָֽׁבַע ׃ 15 וַיִּכְל֥וּ הַמַּ֖יִם מִן ־ הַחֵ֑מֶת וַתַּשְׁלֵ֣ךְ אֶת ־ הַיֶּ֔לֶד תַּ֖חַת אַחַ֥ד הַשִּׂיחִֽם ׃ 16 וַתֵּלֶךְ֩ וַתֵּ֨שֶׁב לָ֜הּ מִנֶּ֗גֶד הַרְחֵק֙ כִּמְטַחֲוֵ֣י קֶ֔שֶׁת כִּ֣י אָֽמְרָ֔ה אַל ־ אֶרְאֶ֖ה בְּמ֣וֹת הַיָּ֑לֶד וַתֵּ֣שֶׁב מִנֶּ֔גֶד וַתִּשָּׂ֥א אֶת ־ קֹלָ֖הּ וַתֵּֽבְךְּ ׃ 17 וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אֱלֹהִים֮ אֶת ־ ק֣וֹל הַנַּעַר֒ וַיִּקְרָא֩ מַלְאַ֨ךְ אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ אֶל ־ הָגָר֙ מִן ־ הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וַיֹּ֥אמֶר לָ֖הּ מַה ־ לָּ֣ךְ הָגָ֑ר אַל ־ תִּ֣ירְאִ֔י כִּֽי ־ שָׁמַ֧ע אֱלֹהִ֛ים אֶל ־ ק֥וֹל הַנַּ֖עַר בַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר הוּא ־ שָֽׁם ׃ 18 ק֚וּמִי שְׂאִ֣י אֶת ־ הַנַּ֔עַר וְהַחֲזִ֥יקִי אֶת ־ יָדֵ֖ךְ בּ֑וֹ כִּֽי ־ לְג֥וֹי גָּד֖וֹל אֲשִׂימֶֽנּוּ ׃ 19 וַיִּפְקַ֤ח אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת ־ עֵינֶ֔יהָ וַתֵּ֖רֶא בְּאֵ֣ר מָ֑יִם וַתֵּ֜לֶךְ וַתְּמַלֵּ֤א אֶת ־ הַחֵ֙מֶת֙ מַ֔יִם וַתַּ֖שְׁקְ אֶת ־ הַנָּֽעַר ׃ 20 וַיְהִ֧י אֱלֹהִ֛ים אֶת ־ הַנַּ֖עַר וַיִּגְדָּ֑ל וַיֵּ֙שֶׁב֙ בַּמִּדְבָּ֔ר וַיְהִ֖י רֹבֶ֥ה קַשָּֽׁת ׃ 21 וַיֵּ֖שֶׁב בְּמִדְבַּ֣ר פָּארָ֑ן וַתִּֽקַּֽח ־ ל֥וֹ אִמּ֛וֹ אִשָּׁ֖ה מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם ׃ פ
God shows his faithfulness to both of Abraham's sons Intro : Parallels; life of both Isaac and Ishmael threatened. Quest for a wife for both of them. Prepares the way for the sacrifice at Moriah. Conflict over inheritance; two mothers keen to protect their offspring. Theme of mockery and hostility. 1. Isaac is born and life is full of laughter (v1-7) v1-2 emphasise the faithfulness of God. They have waited some 25 years for this. 100 years old. Doubting laughter now becomes joyous celebration. 'Visited' - God intervenes in nature v3-4 Abraham's obedience v5-7 the laughter came true. What was laughable because it was too good to be true really happened; they really did laugh again. Application direction: God really is faithful, and waiting on him will be abundantly worthwhile; 'those who wait for me will not be disappointed'. 2. Ishmael is saved and lives in the wilderness (v8-21) Jubilation of birth and circumcision remembered on the day he's weaned. Marred by Ishmael's ?threatening mockery of the young child. cf Galatians 4.29 Seeds of mockery become the full aggression of a life in the wilderness as a hunter Abraham in the polygamists' predicament; having to show preference for one over another. OT shows the pain and folly of polygamy, without condoning it. Pulls everyone into an awful emotional web. With ongoing generational ripples. God is not condoning the mistreatment of Hagar. But he has plans for her and Ishmael, and they will come about this way. v12 God's explanation - through Isaac the promise will be carried. cf Romans 9.7 ; Hebrews 11.18 . Transition for Ishmael from Abraham's care to life on his own in the desert. Transition from yeled to na'ar for Ishmael; young child to youth. Only God hears his cries. cf chapter 16 call him Ishmael, the Lord shall hear. He does a second time round now. Hagar refuses to watch her child die, but the angel of God intercedes, showing the well of salvation. The surprise well is like the surprise ram later. Water is elsewhere a metaphor for the sustaining provision of God. Out of death God will bring new life, as he is the master of the seemingly dire situations (cf v16). 'The picture of Ishmael as the rejected son is complete; he is the son of a slave woman, married to an Egyptian, lives outside normal social bounds, and is remembered for his hostilities.' cf 25.12-18 he does indeed become a great nation cf why Melville chose 'Ishmael' in Moby Dick. Wanderer away from his brothers on the wasteland of the seas. A hunter. Ironic, a critic of self-reliance and rigid dogmatism. Glory of God : His faithfulness to his promise. His deep compassion for the overlooked ones. He brings hope out of hopeless situations. FCF : Hostility, coming from pride, coming from unbelief. Sarai disbelieved God, gave Hagar to Abraham. She conceived and was hostile to Sarah. Her son jealous perhaps of the status and attention of Isaac, is hostile to him. And Sarah to Hagar. By nature : We look to our own interests 'naturally'. By choice : The more threatened we feel by someone, the more easily we choose a cutting word. Rather than the laughter of rest and hospitality, the laughter of mockery. cf sibling rivalry can be awful. Irreligious : Blatant wanting what someone else has got, and nursing old grievances. Ignoring God's call to neighbour love. All manner of forms of laughing at others. Religious : Hostility to other 'camps'; feeling threatened that they make us look bad, or take from us what should be ours. Ignoring God's call to neighbour love. 'Christian' forms of mocking others. Person of Jesu s: He is the one who hears the weeping outcast and goes out to search and find them. God's compassion on the outcast. cf Jesus searching and finding the demon possessed man, the man born blind, the man paralysed by the pool, etc. He is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Work of Jesus: He himself is the shamed, rejected 'son', cast out alone outside the city. They were jealous of the true 'Son' and so they killed him. 'Mockery' is abundant around his death. Yet God raises fresh hope and life on the third day. A guaranteed inheritance. Union with Jesus: An end to hostility towards God and fellow man, since peace and at-one-ment has been made. And I live in his death and resurrection. The laughter of wholeness and community, and no longer the laughter of hostility. Specific repentance: Turn from squabbles, mockery, hostility. Specific faith : Know that God in Jesus sees my needs, hurts, hopes, and tears. Wrap-up: God shows his faithfulness to both of Abraham's sons. Now we will trace the contrast with Isaac's life. In Jesus God has shown us tender mercies.