A Daily Genesis

Genesis 21:1-8

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 21:1 . . God took note of Sarah as He had promised, and God did for Sarah as He had spoken.[/B]

Because God's word is sometimes slow and long in coming to pass, people are often inclined to scoff at what it says and lose confidence in His testimony. The Word told Noah that a flood was coming. Well . . it was many years before it arrived and by the time it came, only Noah and his family were prepared for it.

God also promised a Messiah. But so many years have gone by since, that many now believe one will never come. God also promised He will personally round up the people of Israel and lead many of them back to their own land, and restore their covenanted boundaries, where they will become the center of world power and the seat of religious instruction. Some, giving up on that possibility, have suggested that today's troubled Israeli occupation is the fulfillment of that promise.

Abraham came into Canaan when he was seventy-five, and Sarah sixty-five. That was twenty five years before this section. He is now one-hundred, and she ninety. Women that age cannot have children. So no one can ever give credit to those two for engendering Isaac. Although Isaac was conceived and born in the natural way, he was not a natural child. The credit must be given to a miracle. The people of Israel exist today only because El Shaddai willed them into existence.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 21:2a . . Sarah conceived[/B]

That's not all that happened. The author said back in Gen 18:11 that Sarah's periods had stopped. So sometime prior to Isaac's conception, her periods came back. I wish I could have seen the look of shocked excitement and incredible joy in their faces when she showed Abraham the blood. He may have been grossed out a little, but I can guarantee you he was extremely thrilled because it meant Sarah's plumbing was back online.

Her blood was the sunrise of a new day. Not just another day like all the others, but the beginning of an era of complete change in their lives. They would never be the same again. Parenthood is an irreversible state. It makes no difference if the children die, or leave home, or disown their moms and dads. After once children are engendered, those parents are always the parents. They were the two people who brought the children into the world and it can never be undone.

Abraham had pinned all his hopes upon God's promise and now he realized he should have never doubted. God truly is a man of His word after all. (cf. 49:22-23)

Yes, those who trust in the Bible's God don't have to worry about whether or not they have done something stupid and made a fool of themselves. He made good on His promise to give Sarah a baby boy, and some day He will make good on the promise to bring His people all home again.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 21:2b-3 . . and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken. Abraham gave his newborn son, whom Sarah had borne him, the name of Isaac.[/B]

This is now the second son of Abraham for whom God chose the name. The first was Ishmael. That's quite an honor. It may not set well for many parents though. I think most of us would rather pick names for our own children ourselves; but Abraham is pretty good at obedience for the most part. God said the boy's name would be Isaac and that's what Abraham named him. Isaac, by the way, is the only one of the three patriarchs whose name God does not change later in their life.

Naming a boy is very significant. The man who does the naming is legally declaring the boy to be his own son even if he isn't the biological father.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 21:4 . . And when his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him.[/B]

Isaac is the very first male in the family on record to be circumcised precisely on the eighth day in compliance with the covenant's stipulation. I just want to point out that circumcision was not Abraham's idea. It was his response to El Shaddai's earlier mandate in Gen 17:10-14.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 21:5 . . Now Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.[/B]

Ishmael would have been fourteen (Gen 16:16) and Sarah ninety, since she and her husband were ten years difference in age. (Gen 17:17)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 21:6 . . Sarah said: God has brought me cheer; everyone who hears will laugh with me.[/B]

Sarah's words are a double entendre. Isaac's name in Hebrew means laughter; so God not only gave her a bundle of joy, but cheer for her soul too.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 21:7 . . And she added: Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would suckle children! Yet I have borne a son in his old age.[/B]

Well nobody in their right mind would have. Sarah was just too old. And actually, Abraham was too old too.

"And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old" (Rom 4:19)

"And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore." (Heb 11:11-12)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 21:8 ...The child grew up and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.[/B]

The age of weaning varied in ancient times; usually in the neighborhood of 2 to 5 years. Bible weaning implies a whole lot more than just putting a child on a bottle. It means they can speak and understand a language, feed themselves, brush their teeth, clothe themselves, and potty alone. In other words, you could pack them a bag and send them off to live with your aunt. (e.g. 1Sam 1:22-2:11). Samuel was at least three years old when his mom packed him off to live with the high priest. (2Chr 31:16)

So Isaac was very likely around the same age as Samuel when Abraham and Sarah threw a weaning party for him. It was a day of good celebration and they were very proud of their little boy. He was past a major milestone and well along his way to independent manhood.

Weaning isn't always a joyous occasion for some families. It can be a time passed over in deep sorrow for the parents of handicapped kids. Abraham and Sarah were very fortunate that their boy wasn't afflicted with Down's syndrome, Autism, or a neurodegenerative disease like Tay-Sachs.

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