Genesis 21:2-3 – And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.
The book of Genesis has been building in anticipation since chapter 12 for the birth of Abraham and Sarah’s promised son, Isaac. In Genesis 21, that hope is realized some 25 long and arduous years later. Abraham’s son was born just when and how God promised, and Abraham circumcised his son at eight days of age just as the Lord had commanded. This reminds fathers that we do not just sire sons, but rather are commanded by our Father to father them in covenant relationship with the Lord.
Sarah responded with expectedly great joy as the elderly barren woman was finally holding her baby boy by a miracle of God. Previously, she laughed in mockery of God (Genesis 18:10-15), and now she laughs in worship of God. Her latter joyful response is much like her descendant, Mary, years later at the birth of the promised Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Abraham and Sarah (now 100 and 90 years old respectively) named the boy Isaac, meaning laughter, just as God has told them. Sarah had previously laughed when God said they would be parents. On this occasion, she laughed in joyous worship for the grace of God that brought her a son, which was quite unlike her previous laughter of unbelief that basically mocked the promises of God.
In this case, as in so many cases throughout Scripture, the big idea is that God can do anything with nothing. In Hebrews 11:12, speaking of this very situation, it says, “Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”
God took a couple with a combined total of about 190 years on this earth and brought forth a promised son through which would ultimately come Jesus. I pray that you look to stories like this when you find yourself doubting in your own life what God is capable of. The story of Isaac’s birth to a barren elderly mom should encourage every believer – God can do anything with nothing!
Where has God showed up in your life in supernatural ways, doing things that seem impossible otherwise? Thank Him for being a God of miracles and for keeping His promises.
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