Genesis 21

Behind every promise of God is the purpose and power of God,
therefore faith should know that God’s bonds are as good as ready money “at the set time.”

And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.

For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.

And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

¶ And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.

And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

¶ And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.

10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.

12 ¶ And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.

16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.

18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.

21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

22 ¶ And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:

23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.

24 And Abraham said, I will swear.

25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away.

26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.

27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.

28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.

29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?

30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.

31 Wherefore he called that place Beer-sheba; because there they sware both of them.

32 Thus they made a covenant at Beer-sheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.

33 ¶ And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.

34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land many days.

Genesis 21:1-7 – Birth of Isaac

God is faithful. Heaven and earth may pass, but His word cannot fail. We may wait until all human hopes have died, and then, at “God’s set time,” the child is born. Abraham laughed at the first announcement of this event, Genesis 17:17. Later, as Sarah listened to the conversation between her husband and his mysterious guests, she laughed with incredulity, Genesis 18:12-15. But now, in the joy of long-deferred motherhood, she found that “God hath made me to laugh” (v. 6), and so named her child Isaac. Be of good cheer. The Lord has prepared laughter for you also, some few miles ahead on life’s journey. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright. O thou afflicted, He shall lay thy stones in fair colors! And when thy joy comes, rejoice in it. “Thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee” (Deuteronomy 26:11). But in those hours think kindly of others, and do not forget that some, like Hagar, may be disappointed by what gives thee joy! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Genesis 21:8-21 – Hagar and Ishmael Cast Out

Poor Hagar! She thought that she had given Abraham his heir, but now she found herself and her boy outcasts on the desert waste. The water was soon spent, she little dreamed that a fountain was so near. Cry to God, He will open fountains in the middle of your deserts. Beneath their sad lot a divine purpose was running. God said, “Let it not be grievous in thy sight” (v. 12). This is the teaching of Scripture: that our lives are being ordered and our steps prepared. All we need to be anxious about is the finding of the path. Let us ask God to open our eyes to see the fountains beside us, and the way before us. And after all, was not the wilderness a better training-ground for the lad than the comparative luxury of Abraham’s tent? He “became an archer” (v. 20). Isaac would have been the better for a touch of the desert-life. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, gives the inner significance of this incident in Galatians 5:1. See also John 8:36. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Genesis 21:12 – “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” – there was a promise. “Take…Isaac…and offer him…for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:2) – there was a command. How did Abraham reconcile them? He did not, he could not. He simply obeyed the command, and God fulfilled the promise. The reconcilement was complete. (Hector Hall)

Genesis 21:19 – And God opened her eyes, and she saw.

   Poor Hagar! There was no help for it; and she, who a little before had thought she was giving Abraham his heir, found herself and her boy homeless wayfarers on the desert sands. Their one need was water; they little deemed it was so near. No need to create a new fountain, but to open their eyes. We need the opened eye to see:–
   The finished work of Christ.—The work of propitiation for sin is complete. We are not required to add to it one tear, or prayer, or vow. “It is finished” (John 19:30). To go to heaven to bring Christ down, or to the deep to bring Him up, is alike superfluous. All we need is the opened eye to see what Jesus has done, and recognize that it is all that was demanded to meet the claims of God’s holy law.
   The things freely given to us of God.—God hath given us in Jesus all things that pertain to life and godliness. There is no possible gift or grace, in which we are deficient, that is not stored in Him, in whom the fullness of God abides. But we are blind; the eyes of our heart have not been opened to see the hope of our calling, the riches of our inheritance, the greatness of God’s power. Did we know these things, surely not a moment would elapse without our availing ourselves of God’s rich provision.
   The alleviations which God provides against excessive sorrow.—Hagar’s anguish, as Mary’s at the sepulcher in after years, blinded her to available comfort. So grief puts a bandage over our eyes. Life is sad, and lonely, and dark, but God is near and if you ask, He will show springs of consolation of which you may drink. There is no desert without its spring; no dying child without the angel of the Lord. —Our Daily Homily

Genesis 21:22-34 – Abraham and Abimelech Covenant

Abimelech was impressed with Abraham’s growing prosperity. He felt that it could not be explained on merely natural grounds. “God is with thee in all that thou doest” (v. 22). He sought, therefore, to secure the well-being of himself and his kingdom by forming an amicable treaty. Abraham immediately indicated that, while willing to meet him, they must first have a clear understanding about a certain injustice which he had suffered. As our Lord taught afterward, he showed Abimelech his fault as between them alone, Matthew 18:15. The matter was easily adjusted by the king’s frank disavowal of his servants’ action. In lieu of written documents the seven lambs would be a perpetual sign and token of Abraham’s claim to the well, henceforth known as “the well of the oath.” The tamarisk was the second of these natural title-deeds. Wherever the religious man dwells he should pray, and leave behind him trees and wells. —Through the Bible Day by Day