Abraham and Sarah just received their new names. In Chapter 17, the renaming of these two was given as another sign of the covenant and a promise that Sarah would indeed physically bring forth a son promised to them.
Read chapter 18
Abraham is visited by two angels and the Lord (all three in human form). I believe, even though the terminology of ‘angel of the Lord’ is not present in this case, that it is the preincarnated Christ. The 2nd part of the Trinity is our relational and physical being of the Godhead. So, the Lord visits Abraham, and he rushes to serve them with a joyful heart.
The Lord tells Abraham that in a year, Sarah will have had a son. Sarah is ease dropping and laughs. I believe, that Sarah’s laughter does not come from thinking it is impossible but more so that she is simply overwhelmed with joy. My husband and I gave up trying to have children. We were taking steps not to get pregnant. However, my heart desired a son. I cannot explain why. I love my girls (we have two daughters), but I craved a son but after seven miscarriages and losing Jonathan we just simply didn’t want to lose anymore. So, we were going to adopt. The day I signed up for the classes to foster to adopt was the day that I realized how late my period was. I laughed. Oh, just the thought of something so wonderful! Could it be, that God listened to the deepest desire of my heart? He did. That day I took a test, and we were pregnant. I prayed like crazy for a healthy full term baby. God promised me on that day in my prayers that I would make it to my c-section date and it would be a boy. Henry Lee James McMasters was born on his c-section date! Praise GOD!
The Lord asks Sarah why she laughed and she is afraid. She thinks because He is questioning her laughter that she is in trouble but what I read is… God truly desires to hear us express our joy to Him. He wanted to hear how excited she was. Do not be scared to tell Him what makes you joyful!
Read Chapter 19
Sodom and Gomorrah. Today’s culture in America has some evangelicals saying that America has become a Sodom. Sodom’s sin is outstanding, and they would not repent. The Lord invites Abraham to know what is about to happen to Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham is about to be made into a great nation, the very nation that will bring forth the promised seed in Genesis 3:15 and the nation that is to serve as a Holy Nation to be an example and a light to the world. Here Abraham pleads for Sodom and teaches us to intercede for people. To care about people enough that we lift them in prayer even when they do not know to pray for themselves. The Lord only finds Lot and his family able to be saved from sins crippling lifestyle; the rest would not repent nor want to repent. Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. However, what I have come to see in this passage is that God is teaching Abraham the reason and needs for someone to intercede as well as be an example; because, sin if not dealt with will lead to destruction so the Lord is teaching the Father of the Nation that would save to love passionately to intercede for the lost.
Read Chapter 20
Again, Abraham tries to pass off Sarah as just his sister instead of his wife. Sarah becomes pregnant though during these events, so King Abimelech is told through a dream that she is married because God is protecting His unconditional promise. Human sin will not get in the way of God’s redemption plan. He knows the future and knows what we will do and is sovereign over it. Praise God.
Read Chapter 21
Now, Sarah and Abraham have Isaac. However, Hagar’s son, Ishmael, is making fun of his ½ brother during a weaning ceremony. Sarah gets mad and wants them to be cast out. The Lord allows it to happen. From this point on we see a theme of a younger brother taking the birthright/blessing of an older brother. Here we also, see the father of a great nation, though not as great as Abraham be sent away. Ishmael is the father and the start of many great peoples. The Arabs, and eventually Islam, rises from Him. Ishmael is the product of a half-truth. God promised Abram a son and Sarai tried to do it herself, and now we see a religion that has some half-truths but mostly destruction…
Read Chapter 22
We can trust the blesser with the blessing. So many read this text as a test for Abraham, but I think it is a test for both Abraham to be obedient and trust God with His son but also a test so that Abraham can see that God can be fully trusted. God in no way will ask for a human sacrifice. However, human death must pay the penalty of sin. Jesus Christ was not forced to be sacrificed he was submissive and chose to allow it to happen, similar to how we see Isaac submissive to Abraham. Except, God provided the sacrifice because the only one He would ever ask to give up their son… would be Himself. Through mourning a son, there were times when I felt I lost Him, but this is not true. Jesus Christ took the nails and the cross so that I would not lose my son or myself…
I would like to end in prayer!
Lord, I praise you. Thank you for making the goodbye’s of this life simple see you laters. That your sacrifice on the cross means that death is defeated that the sin debt we all owe has been paid and that death is not our ending if we accept you. Thank you for loving us so much that you would provide a way for the heartache of this world to be undone! Amen.