Isaac’s birth is almost upon us!
Read: Genesis 20-21:1-6
“Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelekking of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
3 But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”
4 Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”
6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die.”
So here it is again, Abraham doesn’t trust God to protect them, so he says Sarah is his sister. It seems that Abraham hasn’t learned yet that God protects His children or that He fulfills His promises.
8 Early the next morning Abimelek summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelek called Abraham in and said, “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.”10 And Abimelek asked Abraham, “What was your reason for doing this?”
11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”
14 Then Abimelek brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him.15 And Abimelek said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.”
16 To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels[a] of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”
“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.3 Abraham gave the name Isaac[a] to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
Reflect: God “knew the heart of Abimelek” and protected him from sinning. I love this. I believe the same is true for us even today. When we seek to live for God He will direct our path.”
Genesis 21 records the joyous occasion of the birth of Isaac. God was gracious to Sarah and followed through with his promise. Abraham was 100 years old. 100!!! Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Sarah’s response in Genesis 21:6-7 is so beautiful. She acknowledges that Isaac is a gift from God.
I think there is something special in the order of this story. Genesis 20 shows us that Abraham and Sarah were still wavering in their faith. They were further along in understanding God, but still with room for growth. In the midst of this God fulfilled Sarah’s deepest desire.
Record: What do you think of the whole story in Genesis 20?
Did Abraham lie to Abimelek?
Why 25 years?
Review: When I think about my ten years of waiting it feels easy compared to Sarah. I can also see a lot of similarities. God isn’t calling us to perfection and he isn’t calling us to meet a certain standard before He answers our prayers. God’s timing isn’t a manipulation. God’s timing is always for a greater purpose. The waiting can turn to wilderness when we listen to our doubts instead of pressing into God.