PATHS In Bible Chapters

Genesis 21
Theme: Miracles And More
Key Text: Verse 7


            The entire story of Abraham’s life is filled with the miraculous. His turning “from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thes.1:9) was the “beginning of miracles.” And, who cannot see the miracle of divine leadership in his journey from Ur of the Chaldees to the Canaan land? Time and again, the patriarch was miraculously protected in his confrontations with rival forces. Were it not for the miracle of restoration, he would not have continued in faith until this hour. But, now, perhaps, we witness the greatest miracle of his life – the birth of Isaac. This supernatural happening brought him into a new arena.


1. More Praises To Enroll
            It is almost unbelievable! The impossible has happened! Though Abraham is one hundred years old and Sarah is ninety years old, she has given him “a son in his old age” (21:2). It is not the normal experience, but it has happened! God be praised! It has happened just like He promised! The name “Isaac” (21:3), or “laughter,” is so becoming, for what gladness he brings to this home! Who can keep from praising God for this miracle child? We rejoice with Sarah as she rejoices, “God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me” (21:6). Yet, we admit with her, “Who would have thought this would ever happen?" (21:7). To God be the glory! Great things He hath done!


2. More Pressures To Endure
            Most of our special blessings are accompanied with special battles. And, there are more than enough to go around in this situation. First, there is conflict between Ishmael and  Isaac (see 21:9), a conflict so intense that the Holy Spirit later uses it to portray the battle between the flesh and the Spirit (see Gal. 4:29). Then, Sarah and Hagar are at odds again (see 21:10). This on-going struggle must represent the great differences between grace and law. By trying to hold on to Ishmael (works) and enjoy Isaac (faith), Abraham goes through a “very grievous” time, too (21:11-13). We can’t forget, either, that poor Hagar and Ishmael – already enduring rejection – faced a very difficult time “in the wilderness” (21:14-21).


3. More Progress To Enjoy
            When we are walking in God’s will, even those around us are conscious that the Lord is advancing us. Although Abimelech had rebuked Abraham earlier, he now confesses, “God is with thee in all that thou doest” (21:22).  Putting all differences behind them (21:25, 26), the two “made a covenant at Beersheba” (21:32). To say the least, it was a memorable day! Abraham celebrated this milestone by employing a new name for God in his prayer, “the everlasting God” (21:33), or “Jehovah-Olam,” meaning  “God endures!” He knew his progress was rooted in the enduring One!



More than one time, I have promised to do more than I could possibly accomplish. Eventually, seeing my dilemma, I have admitted to myself, “It will take a miracle to get all this completed!” The Lord does not promise to help us and then forget us! He does the miraculous! But, He doesn’t just give us miracles. He always gives us "Miracles and More!”