faith, Genesis Series

Genesis 21 Presence Over Promise

Chapter of the Day: Read Genesis 21.

Meditate on Genesis 21:5 “Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.” 

Alas, Genesis chapter 21 ushers in the great promise of a son fulfilled to Sarah and Abraham. The two rightfully name Isaac after the laughter he brought them, and that he would surely bring to everyone who realized the details of his birth.

We quickly discover that although Isaac’s birth was a glorifying, momentous, and long-awaited occasion, it would only be the beginning of what God had planned for the family. They would soon realize they still desperately needed His intervention.  The family’s problems continued to escalate. Abraham’s son through the slave Hagar begins causing tension in the family. Proof once more that there are consequences to our sins that are incalculable and up to God.

Abraham sends the boy and his mother away at God’s command, yet we see God continue to stay faithful in His earlier words to Hagar and Abraham. God comforts, provides and reminds them in their weakest moment that He is still trustworthy.

The chapter ends with another squabble between Abraham and the King Abimelek over a well. However, it seems, in his old age Abraham has learned a thing or two from walking with the Lord. Abraham responds with integrity and the matter is settled peacefully.

Abraham and Sarah did not perfectly walk with the Lord. They did, however, faithfully continue to learn and practice obedience, which was much more vital to them than anything else. Because as we see in this chapter, God’s promises are good and they are guaranteed, but a life with no complications is not promised. It is better that we learn to stay close to God so that whatever the circumstances are (promise or no promise) we have what we need to endure. We have God’s presence.

Prayer: Lord thank you that I can trust that you will fulfill your promises to me in your timing. Thank you even more, that you give me your presence to navigate the circumstances that are inevitable in this fallen world. God your promises are good, but your presence is all I need. Thank you, Lord, that your presence is already available to me. Help me to cherish it over anything that this world tries to convince me that I need more than you. In Jesus’ name amen.

Application: Is there a time in your life that you finally got that long-awaited thing that you just KNEW you had to have?

Did you feel a little disappointed when it was finally yours?

What about a really hard time you survived by leaning on God?

What can we learn from both events?

Memorize Acts 17:27 “God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us.”

2 thoughts on “Genesis 21 Presence Over Promise”

  1. I think the rescue story of Hagar and Ishmael is especially wondrous. Though the actions toward them were mistakes, so to say, and later things to be aggrieved, God took care of these two. I shouldn’t have expected any less.

    Sometimes I think I should have something and when I get it am disappointed. This often happens with material things. Then again, I’ve gotten things often on impulse, forgotten I had them, and come across them later, as a kind of surprise. Often, then, I’m pleased, as if it’s been a small Christmas day. How mixed up am I especially about anticipation, let alone patience.


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