ABRAHAM & ISAAC
NAME THE SON OF PROMISE
Genesis 18:1-8 And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
Susie: Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent one day under some oak trees when three visitors appeared. He invited them to rest and share a meal which was an expected hospitality in the nomadic culture. It is not stated that he immediately knew them to be the Angel of the Lord (a theophany of Jesus) and two angels, but his behavior and the prophecy given suggest this to be the case. He had Sarah prepare bread and a servant prepare the tender juicy meat of a calf.
Susan: Abraham shared the best he had to offer with the three visitors.
Genesis 18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
Susan: Because of modesty and dignity, Sarah had remained inside the tent instead of coming out among the men.
Susie: Her respect for her husband is demonstrated in her modesty.
1 Peter 3:6 (VOICE) Consider how Sarah, our mother, obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him “lord,” and you will be her daughters as long as you boldly do what is right without fear and without anxiety.
Susie: Note that Peter referred to Sarah as “our mother” recognizing her role as the matriarch of Israel. Isaiah recognized Sarah as the matriarch of the nation of Israel as well.
Isaiah 51:2 (KJV) Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.
Genesis 18:10-12 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
Susie: This heavenly visitor was reiterating what the Lord had already told Abraham. It is not clear whether or not Abraham had communicated to his wife God’s earlier promise to him that Sarah would bear a son. This may have been the first she heard of it while eavesdropping from the entrance of the tent.
Susan: God gave Sarah a specific date that Isaac would be born. He is not only sovereign over her barren womb but over the timing of the birth. We see this truth in the birth of Jesus as well:
Galatians 4:3-5 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Susan: As did Abraham before her, Sarah cracked up laughing at the prospect of two elderly people, way passed the age of reproduction, having a baby together.
Susie: It seemed absurd to her. They knew how things worked even though they did not study it in science/health class as we did.
Genesis 18:13-14 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
Susie: The Lord asked Abraham why Sarah laughed but did not wait for Abraham to answer.
Susan: The Lord asked, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Then He let them know He would be back, and they would see the power of the Lord manifest in their old bodies, seemingly past the age of reproduction.
Susie: By the time He returned, Isaac would have been born.
Genesis 18:15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
Susie: Sarah tried to deny the fact that she had laughed, but the Lord knows our hearts. He confirmed that she did laugh. We cannot hide our feelings from God.
Susan: God did not discount the covenant or punish them due to their laughter or the fact that they thought that becoming parents was utterly impossible. Sarah’s laughter, like Abraham’s before her, did not cause catastrophic repercussions.
Susie: The Lord called Sarah out for her laughter, but then reminded the two of them that nothing is impossible for Him. I wonder if they threw baby showers during that period in history? Probably not.
Susie: In Genesis 19-20, while Sarah is carrying Isaac, there are historical events recorded. After making the birth prediction to Abraham, the Lord breaks the news that He intends to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah where Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family reside. This is a great portion of scripture but not directly related to our story. Also during this time period, Abraham lies about Sarah again, saying she is his sister even while she is pregnant with his child! Once again, the Lord intervened and protected Sarah from becoming the wife or concubine of King Abimelech. We resume our study of Abraham in Genesis 21.
Genesis 21:1 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.
Susie: Flash forward to the time the Lord had predicted, and Sarah did deliver Abraham’s baby as promised!
Susan: God reminds us that Abraham was over 100 years old, but think about poor Sarah! She had the hard part of carrying and delivering a baby at 90+ years old! Who got the better and easier end of this deal?
Susie: However, Sarah must have been delighted to finally hold her own baby in her arms. Abraham was extremely pleased to finally have a son by the wife of his youth. He finally had God’s chosen heir to receive all the Lord had given him in blessings as well as the promise of becoming a great nation.
Genesis 21:3-7 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.
Susie: Abraham named his son Isaac meaning “He laughs” as the Lord had instructed him, and it is certain that many people joined Abraham and Sarah in celebration and laughter at the birth of this miraculously conceived and equally miraculously delivered baby.
Susan: God had given Abraham the command to circumcise all the males of his household as we studied in Genesis 17. Therefore, he circumcised Isaac when he was just eight days old in obedience to what the Lord had commanded as the sign of their covenant relationship.
Susie: God once again reminds the reader that Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. He drives home to us that nothing is impossible with God. Jesus taught this lesson to His disciples as well:
Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Susie: Here is where Sarah puts that positive spin on naming her child Isaac (he laughs). She says that God has caused her to laugh with joy, and that infectious laughter of a new mother with her babe in arms will spread to all who hear her story.
Susie: In Genesis 21, we find the account of the weaning of Isaac which could be anywhere from three to five years old. His half-brother made fun of him, and Sarah demanded that Abraham send away the handmaiden, Hagar, and her son Ishmael. Typically, the son of a concubine was guaranteed a position in the family even if a child was born to the father’s wife; but the son of the wife would inherit the lion’s share. Sarah was demanding that Abraham break this rule. However, God assured Abraham that Hagar and Ishmael would be protected and instructed him to do as Sarah bade him. God did indeed provide for Hagar and Ishmael, and the promise was fulfilled that Ishmael would also father princes and a great nation.
1. What did Abraham do that would indicate he recognized the three men as being from heaven?
2. Why was Sarah in the tent rather than outside greeting the guests?
3. What was Sarah’s response to the prophecy of her pregnancy?
4. What does the specific prediction of the time of the baby’s birth tell us about the Lord?
5. How old were Abraham and Sarah when the promised son was born?
6. What does the name Isaac mean and what are some possible reasons God told them to give him this name?
7. What did Abraham do when Isaac was eight days old?
8. Abraham sent Hagar and his son Ishmael away from their camp, into the desert. Who took care of them?