Of Isaac and Ishmael Back to all sermons


Date: November 11, 2018

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Genesis

Scripture: Genesis 21:1–21:21

  • Genesis 21:1-21
  • Of Isaac and Ishmael
  • Genesis 21:1-7

1 The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. 2 And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. 4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” 7 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.”

Genesis 21:7-13
  7 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."  8 And the child grew and
  was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.  9 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."

  • Genesis 21:14-18

14 Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. It is a sign of your innocence in the eyes of all who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.” 17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. 18 For the LORD had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.

  • Genesis 21:15-21

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.

  • Main Point
  • The main point of this text is to describe the coming Isaac and the expulsion of Ishmael
  • God promised Isaac and delivered that promise
  • Sarah does not want Ishmael to take part in the inheritance
  • God agrees and Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away
  • Ishmael is heard by God and God intervenes
  • Application Points
  • Word and Promise of the Lord
  • In this text we find God’s Word is true
  • God did not speak or promise in vain
  • When we consider how the Lord first caused creation speaking it into existence
  • When we consider the promise of judgment for Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, the Babelites
  • In each of these the Lord has spoken
  • When God speaks a promise to Abraham we can expect it to be fulfilled
  • But God did not only promise Isaac

“7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”

-Genesis 17:7-8

  • Application Points
  • Word and Promise of the Lord (2)
  • In these verses the covenant is ratified
  • Abraham is also promised God Himself
  • It is that God would be theirs and they His that gives the covenant life
  • The birth of Isaac should cause us to reflect on all the covenant
  • If God can cause Isaac, then it should give further encouragement to trust in the Word of the Lord and His promises
  • Application Points
  • Word and Promise of the Lord (3)
  • This is what encouraged with…the Word of the Lord is sure and true
  • Is there anything which would exemplify this?
  • Is there anything promised?
  • From the moment of Adam and Eve onward there is a message…it will not be this way forever
  • We it is in the Word and promise spoken to Eve
  • We see it in Noah
  • We see it in Abraham
  • Even in the Law and the prophets
  • Application Points
  • Word and Promise of the Lord (4)
  • The only one who could do this is God
  • His own Word became flesh, and by becoming flesh brought redemption to those who are of flesh
  • Through Abraham would come the people of God, and it ist through Christ we join this holy assembly
  • When we consider Christ, we recognize the greatest of promises fulfilled
  • The covenant concerning Abraham is fulfilled in that God has made for Himself a people who call Him God
  • Application Points
  • Word and Promise of the Lord (5)
  • When we think of the Word of the Lord being fulfilled, and Abraham and Sarah, it should cause us to rejoice
  • Our God is faithful to His Word and His promise
  • The story of Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac reminds us of these things
  • Not a single promise given will be undone
  • He can fulfill the promises given to us through His Word
  • He has delivered Isaac, and further Christ Jesus
  • As such we can have hope in our future…He has spoken, He has promised, we can trust in Him to fulfill
  • Application Points
  • Wilderness Places
  • No matter who you are you can have some sympathy for Hagar and Ishmael
  • Either we would have let sorrow overtake us, or plead for help
  • While I may not have wandered in a literal wilderness, I have experience wilderness places in my life
  • How can I overcome this?
  • We have all had these experiences when our souls feel dry, and our hearts are troubled
  • Whatever the case may be it leaves us without, leaves us longing for God to deliver
  • Application Points
  • Wilderness Places (2)
  • Thanks be to God for Hagar and Ishmael
  • He can turn our circumstances for good, and we can trust in Him to deliver us
  • Sometimes it is necessary for us to go through these situations
  • While we may believe such places are useless, the truth is God can use even the most dire of our circumstances for His glory
  • If we find joy in Him, then the wilderness places will not look as bad
  • In this way He can turn our deserts into gardens
  • We find a connection between our desert sojourns, that God can change our circumstances…bringing us water and manna
  • Application Points
  • Wilderness Places (3)
  • As we live we will not escape our struggles
  • Let’s pray to God that He use these struggles to draw us closer to Him
  • Let us pray to trust in Him, that He does not lead us in vain
  • We often give up in the desert, but why should we?
  • If He who sent His Son to bring about redemption, and fulfilled His promises and His Word, then why should we have any doubts?
  • We have no reason to doubt our great God even in these times
  • Our God is faithful to us, and as such we have no reason to fear the dark, nor fear the wilderness
  • Application Points
  • Wilderness Places (4)
  • Be encouraged, then, to seek out God and trust Him in times of trouble
  • He has spoken and we have heard the Gospel
  • We can trust in Him to be for us and with us in these seasons
  • Take hold then of the Gospel of Jesus
  • He is the one who walks into our wilderness, and carries us from the valley of dry bones into His eternal joy
  • Application Points
  • The Gospel of Christ
  • Origins
  • Fall
  • Redemption
  • Glorification