When Abraham was 75 years old (and Sarah was 65) the Lord promised him, “I will make you into a great nation” (Genesis 12:2). As the years passed and Sarah remained unable to have children, it seemed that God’s promise would be kept in some other way than through a child born to this couple.
But nothing is impossible for God. When Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90, God kept his promises and brought about a miraculous event, the birth of a son to Abraham and Sarah. The narrative in this chapter records the fulfillment of the Lord’s words in Genesis 18:10 - “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
READ GENESIS 21:1-7 阅读《创世纪》21:1-7
The birth of Isaac was a gift of God’s grace and a fulfillment of God’s promises. The apostle Paul wrote: “Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise” (Galatians 4:22–23).
What two phrases in these verses proclaim God’s faithfulness to his promises?
Verse 1 第一节=
Verse 2 第二节=
Why did Abraham and Sarah name their son Isaac? (see Genesis 17:19)
In verse 4 we read that Abraham had Isaac circumcised when the baby was 8 days old. Why was this important?
READ GENESIS 21:8-21阅读《创世纪》21:8-21
A child is usually weaned from the mother’s breast at the age of 2 or 3. We know from Genesis 16:16 that Abraham was 86 years old when Ishmael was born. Now, Abraham was about 102 or 103 years old, which would mean that Ishmael was about age 15 or 16 when this incident took place.
The weaning celebration was an opportunity to show special honor toward this baby boy. But in verse 9 we read that Ishmael was mocking Isaac at the very event meant to honor him. The apostle Paul gives us insight into Ishmael’s behavior toward Isaac. Paul wrote: “At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit” (Galatians 4:29). So it wasn’t just that Ishmael was having a little fun at Isaac’s expense, it was that Ishmael was engaged in persecution and abuse of the little boy. It sounds as if this wasn’t just a momentary or single occurrence, but it was especially grievous at the occasion when Ishmael should be honoring his little brother.
Why did Sarah feel threatened by Ishmael’s behavior toward Isaac?
Previously, Abraham had told Sarah that she was free to send Hagar away (Genesis 16:6), but now he was distressed when Sarah demanded that he send away Hagar and Ishmael (v. 11). Why?
In verse 13 God told Abraham, “I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring.” Earlier, in Genesis 17:20 God had told Abraham, “As for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” What great nation descended from Ishmael? See Genesis 25:12–18.
READ GENESIS 21:22-34阅读《创世纪》21:22-34
This incident shows us how powerful and respected Abraham was among the people of Canaan. It is also a record of the beginning of Abraham taking possession of the land of Canaan.
Who was Abimelech (verse 22)? See Genesis 20:2.
Why did Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, want to make a treaty with Abraham?
Why was the well at Beersheba important to Abraham?
What is the significance to the gift of “seven ewe lambs from the flock”?
We read that Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba. This is an indication that he intended to live there for a while. It takes a while for a tree to grow. With a tree and a well, Abraham would have a place to live.
In verse 33 we are told that Abraham “called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.” What does that mean?
第33节告诉我们，亚伯拉罕 “求告耶和华—永生 神的名”。这是什么意思？
Now, in our study of Abraham, God has been given three descriptive names. What are they?
Genesis 14:18-19, 22 创世记14:18-19, 22 =
Genesis 17:1 创世记17:1 =
Genesis 21:33 创世记21:33 =
God has been revealing himself to Abraham and to us through these chapters. He wants us to know what the true God is like. He is the creator, almighty, and eternal.