Genesis #18 – Why Does God Choose Some People, But Not Others?

In Genesis 21, Abraham's promised son, Isaac, finally comes and the baby mama drama continues after he tried to take matters into his own hands and have a child with another woman. As is often the case with God, Pastor Mark shows that God blesses everyone in the story, despite the people and their actions, and that God is always the ultimate hero in every story.

Does God Choose Some People, but Not Others?: Genesis 21:1-21 (18)

Gen. 3 – sin enters & impacts every generation of families (water bottle)

Adult Evaluation = Don’t get bitter.     Do get better.

Our God Keeps His Promises

Genesis 21:1-7 The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. 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. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Abraham (100) 1). faith – conversion/move   2). fear – Egypt/Gerar; Hagar/

Sarah  (90) – 18:15 laughed @ God               NOW: laughed w/God

Heb 11:11–12 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 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 CAN DO ANYTHING WITH NOTHING)

Isaac (25 yr wait)

  • Abraham named Ishmael
  • God named Isaac (Gen. 17:19) = Pro-Life Laughter

8th Day Circumcision (4000 yrs ago)

  • One unbelieving commentator likens this to a branding gang tattoo.


  • 1943 Nob. Prize Med
  • 2 clotters 1). Vitamin K 2). Prothrombin  not in body til days 5-7, highest day 8 in life

Baby Mamma Drama

Genesis 21:And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. 10 So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” 11 And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13 And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

-Culture moving -polygamy/throuples (NOT Gen. 1-2, how children made/raised)

Division = 2 Visions

  1. BELIEVER – Sarah’s vision – marry Hagar/use surrogate; now banish/divorce for Isaac
  2. UNBELIEVER – Hagar’s vision – displace Sarah & Ishmael heir promise/estate

Abraham – Egypt, married Hagar, loved Ishmael (16:12 “wild donkey”) TORN

BOILING POINT: Weaning Feast

  • Isaac 3? Ishmael 16?
  • Sarah: A. She laughed/mocked God (18:15) B. angry when Ishmael mocks Isaac

=Modern – ex wife & son sent out w/o provision (bread/few gallons water to carry)

Abraham – God took him out of the middle/decision = lose/lose

Sarah – had opportunity to choose bitter or bless (no names)

Our God Blesses

Genesis 21:15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

1. Hagar = 2X Jesus visited Hagar @ well Gen 16 (Samaritan woman well of OT)

2. Ishmael = 1). “God hears” 2). 16:12 “wild donkey” 3). bow – hunt/fight = God Father fatherless

DIVISION 4000 YEARS Rom. 9:6-12 11 though they were not yet born & had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”

Physical Descendants (‘nations)

  • 12 sons (Ishmael) 436 million Arabs descended from Abraham through Ishmael
  • 12 tribes (Issac) 15 million Jews descended from Abraham through Isaac

Spiritual Descendants

2 million Orthodox Jews

2.4 billion Christian

1.9 billion Muslims (Islam fastest growing rel, 2x pop, passing XN 2060 latest)


-Muhammed born 570, revelation for Islam 610 AD – ?likely descendant =Ishmael

-Koran – Ishmael A). hero B).  “firstborn” son ovenant promise

-God asked Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael

-Believe Ishmael settled in Mecca (near well ZamZam)


Muslim holy site – 1. Ishmael spring 2. Mohammed birth 3. In Mecca (Saudi Arabia)

-Yearly Hajj (ritual pilgrimage) to Mecca reenact Hagar/Ish search for water, running 7X between 2 hills & draw well of Zam Zam  “miraculously” sprung from under Ishmael’s feet

  • Tests proved water high bi-carbonates & calcium =  purest water earth

1. Holy Water (like Catholics). 2. Good Fortune (like wishing well). 3. Supernatural

Architecting Life

1). Walk w/God HEART 2). 7-day wk (Gen 1-2) SCHED. 3). Tithe (Gen. 14 Abr-Mel.) BUDGET

Architecting Family

Gen 2:24-25 a man shall 1). leave his father & his mother and 2). hold fast to his wife, & 3). they shall become one flesh. 4). And the man and his wife were both naked & were not ashamed.

A.    Life  – husband (singular head); wife (plural leader)

  1. Law of Priority: A man shall leave his father & mother                                  -LOT?
  2. Law of Pursuit: Hold fast/cleave to his wife (passionate energy)                  -GAVE 2X?
  3. Law of Partnership: One                                                                                 -HAGAR
  4. Law of Purity: Naked w/o shame                                                                    -HAGAR/ISH.


  1. Feel pain teen years
  2. Playing favorites – Cain/Abel; Ham/Shem/Japheth; Ishmael/Isaac

= Good News: Jesus showed up & blessed everyone

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Mark Driscoll

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