-God takes note of Sarah to give her a son just as He had promised (Genesis 18:14). Abraham names his son Isaac according to the LORD’s command (Genesis 17:19) because of the laughter and joy he has created in his parents’ old age along with all who hear. As he is weaned Abraham made a great feast! It was a time of celebration and fulfillment of God’s promise to him.
-Hagar’s son Ishmael becomes jealous at the sight of Sarah and her son Isaac and is found mocking, which enraged Sarah to the point of asking Abraham to drive them out so as not to be an heir with her son Isaac. Abraham is saddened by this development, but God told him not to be distressed. God was going to make a nation of Ishmael’s people, but Abraham’s people’s name would come through the line of Isaac.
-Here is an illustration using the hermeneutical (interpretation) device that is called typology. Abraham here is battling between what he wants in the flesh and what God has ordained through His omnipotent promise. We as believers will still have times when we think that a certain thing or direction is sentimental or allowed by God, but it is really our own desires being in control rather than the LORD’s Spirit. We are called to a Spirit-filled life of promise and should make no provision for the flesh and its lusts (Romans 13:14) after receiving Him. Looking back and trying to do things in our own strength will only lead to failure and chaos. We must die to our old way of life and live in God’s preferred future as a sanctified saint (Luke 9:23, 2 Corinthians 5:17).
-Hagar and her son are sent out to the wilderness with some bread and a skin of water by Abraham. They wonder around in the area of Beersheba and come to the put of starvation and despair. It is at this point that God hears Ishmael crying and attends to Hagar giving her hope and a promise that her son will be the father of a great nation. She looks up and finds a well of water and sustenance to keep them alive. As Ishmael grew, he became an archer living in the wilderness of Paran and his mother took for him a wife from the land of Egypt.
-The narrative shifts back to a covenant made between Abimelech along with his commander, Phicol, and Abraham. Abimelech knows that God is with Abraham and deals favorably with him. It is always wise to side with God’s people. This is a reminder of the promise in Genesis 12:3. Abraham swears kindness and truth upon Abimelech and their offspring in their dealings. Abraham did have an issue with a well which he had dug, but Abimelech’s servants had seized, but it is rectified and a covenant is made between them with pomp and circumstance of the day. Seven ewe lambs, which represented Abimelech’s recognition that the well was Abraham’s, were taken by Abimelech. So they take an oath at Beersheba. It is here at the southern most point of truly inhabitable land of promise that Abraham plants a tamarisk tree and called upon the Name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. Thus, he stayed in the land of the Philistines for many days. For an interesting excerpt on the tamarisk tree’s significance see http://www.dodsonlumber.com/acts242/?p=176.
Verse to Memorize: Genesis 21:1