The Birth Of Isaac
Genesis Chapter 21
The birth of Isaac marked a pivotal point in the outworking of God's eternal purpose. The coming of this son to Abraham and Sarah was the second great step toward the fulfillment of Jehovah's plan.
This purpose and plan was to have a people of His own, separate from the surrounding nations;
a people to ‑whom should be entrusted the Holy Oracles, a people of whom the Savior was to be born; a people who should ultimately become the medium of blessing to all the earth.
In the realization of this plan and purpose the first great step was the selection of Abram to be the father of the chosen nation,
Over 25 yrs have passed since the promise of God to Abe - but now we read in vs. 1,2 that 21:1 And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken.
2 For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
Tells us a few things right away :
God is faithful to keep his promises
God has a set time frame in which he works - never late
Nothing is impossible for Him ! Abe & Sarah old - her barren
There are several things that happen next recorded by the H.S. 1st speaks of Dependence / other Development
v. 3 Abe - named his son Isaac - like the Lord instructed & He circumcised him as well
Both of these acts speak to us of Abe dependence & submission to God .
A) Circumcision was not a pleasant right it was a painful right - Father & son suffered alike
B) Father experienced the pain of watching his little guy suffer -
C) But in doing so Abe was confessing his dependence upon the grace of God for the spiritual welfare of His son.
Next act spoke of Development - v. 8 The child was weaned - they had a great feast
A) He wanted the world to know that his boy was growing up / that he was no longer on milk - ready for meat
B) God also rejoices in the growth of His kids - likes to see us go from milk to meat - ( Growth is His will )
C) meat = depth & detail -
Several things that the Birth of Isaac speaks of
1st prefigures the coming of Christ / note 6 ways
First, Isaac was the promised seed and son (Gen. 17: 16) ; so also was Christ (Gen. 3: 15; 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
Is. 7: 14 14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Second, a lengthy interval occurred between God's first promise to Abraham and its realization.
So also was there a lengthy interval between God's promise to send Christ and the actual fulfillment of it.
Third, when Isaac's birth was announced, his mother asked shall I of a really bear a child, which am old?" (Gen. 18: 13), to which the answer was returned, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
And like wise when the angel of the Lord made known to Mary that she was to be the mother of the Savior, she asked, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1: 34), to which Gab. answered "With God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1: 37):
so that in each case God's omnipotence was affirmed following the annunciation of the birth of the child.
Fourth, Isaac's name was specified before he was born‑‑‑!'And thou shalt call his name Isaac" (Gen. 17: 19)
Joseph before Christ was born‑"And thou shalt call his name Jesus"
Fifth, Isaac's birth occurred at God's appointed time (Gen. 21:2) "at the set time";
so also in connection with the Lord Jesus we read (Gal. 4:4). "But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman"
Sixth, the name Isaac (given unto him by Abraham and not Sarah, Gen. 21: 3), which means laughter, declared him to be his father's delight;
so also was the one born at Bethlehem "this is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
So Isaac birth prefigured the birth of Christ - it was also a picture of Salvation. How so ?
In order to accomplish it - God had to give life to that which was dead - Sarah’s womb
A) We were dead in our trespasses & sins - yet God has made us alive in His son.
B) Paul said in 1 Tim. 5:6 he who lives in pleasure is dead while he lives.
C) Person may be alive naturally , physically & mentally - but dead spiritually
D) And just like Abe & Sarah had to be quickened by the Lord before Isaac could be born
so the sinner needs to be quickened by the H.S. before they can be born again.
3rd thing see is that the birth of Isaac Produced a conflict v.9
9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac."
11 And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham's sight because of his son.
A) Ishmael is the child born after the flesh -
where as Isaac represents the child born after the spirit
B) Notice when Isaac was born the true character of Ishmael was manifested
C) Same is true of us when we are born again - we receive a new nature but the old nature the flesh is revealed in his true colors
1) Never understand how bad you really were until you are born again.
D) Battle begins - 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.
E) 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.
In Galatians 4:28-29, Paul makes it clear that Ishmael represents the believer’s first birth (the flesh) and Isaac represents the second birth (the Spirit).
A) Gal 5 - Battle
It is interesting that Ishmael - same family - he too was circumcised a year before - but it had done nothing to change his rebellious heart
A) Not an issue of - changing my actions - God changing my heart - complete over haul
B) Man was saved at a crusade meeting - large man - went home and shared the news w/ his wife - pleased
1) Week long meetings - went to one - came home sad - what’s wrong - everyone was wearing these cool red sweat shirts
C) Poor - I will make you one ! She did - white writing -
1) neither one Could read or write - Copied the letters off of a sign on a store front window across the street
D) Went to the next meeting - all happy wearing his sweatshirt that read -UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT !!!!! LOVED IT
That is what happens to us when we are truly born again -under new management -
Sarah was wrong when she told Abraham to marry Hagar (Gen. 16:1-2), but she was right when she told Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael out of the camp.
The Apostle Paul saw in this event an allegory involving the Law of Moses and the grace of God (Gal. 4:21-31).
21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?
22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,
24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar;
Old Cov. Do this and live !
New Cov. Live & You will find your self doing these things - ( I will put my Spirit w/ in you & He will…….
25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which
now is, and is in bondage with her children;
26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27 For it is written: "Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children Than she who has a husband."
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.
30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman."
31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
Sarah represents grace and Hagar represents Law- the earthly Jerusalem under bondage).
The lesson is simply that God’s children are to live under the blessings of grace and not the bondage of Law.
The conflicts in Abraham’s home could have been solved two ways.
A)Isaac could have been sent away, but that would mean rejecting the promises of God and all that God had planned for the future.
B) Represent the person who is trying to live by the flesh - keep the law - do the right things
Isaac and Ishmael could have lived together, but that would mean constant conflict.
A) Person who tries to walk the fence !
As a believer you cannot live in harmony with both natures. You are going to have to make a decision. James says, "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8).
This explains the instability and the insecurity among many Christians today. They want to go with the world, and yet they want to go with the Lord.
The only solution was to send Ishmael and his mother out of the camp and make Isaac the sole heir.
A) Told in Rom. 13: 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
So Hagar was cast out. There was no compromise: She was cast out completely and permanently and took Ishmael with her.
Horatius Bonar wrote these words:
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down, and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.
“If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink” (John 7:37). “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17).
In other words, Abimelech wants to make a contract or a treaty with this man Abraham –
Lastly Abe is seen - good place walking in the Spirit - Worshipping & waiting
33 Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.
34 And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines many days.