By Derek Westmoreland
Senior Pastor, Hopewell Baptist Church, Savannah
God’s promise is fulfilled. It had been two years since the Lord promised a son to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-4, 21:5). After 13 years the Lord reminded Abraham that He had not forgotten His promise. Then 24 years after originally revealing to Abraham that he would have numerous descendants, God revealed that Sarah would give birth. In verse 1 we read that God’s promise came to pass just as He said it would 25 years before.
The birth of Isaac provides proof that we can trust God; we can take Him at His Word. Our God, the one true living God, is different from the false gods of other religions. Our God speaks and our God keeps His Word. He fulfills His promises.
Furthermore, God keeps His Word even when His Word contradicts the normal proceedings of life. Abraham and Sarah were past childbearing years, yet they brought forth a child (21:5). Hebrews 11:12a states, “Therefore, there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that.” Abraham was as good as dead when he became the father to Isaac. This confirms that he was not at the typical age to become a father. Hebrews 11:11a speaks of Sarah and says, By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life. Abraham and Sarah were too old to have children but Sarah conceived (verses 1-2) because God had promised that she would do so. God’s plan for the Hebrew people and specifically the Messiah was at stake. Abraham was to become the father of many nations.
The result of God’s promise being fulfilled. There were three clear results from the fulfillment of God’s promise:
(1) Circumcision. Isaac was circumsized (see verse 4). God’s command for Abraham to circumcise his offspring is found in Genesis 17:9-14.
(2) Laughter. At one time Abraham had laughed at the improbability of having a son in his old age (Genesis 17:17); Sarah had laughed too (Genesis 18:12). But now, with the birth of the child, laughter took on its happier meaning. Imagine what it must have been like for Sarah to hold Isaac in her arms. His existence and name was a reminder of God’s power but also His provision in spite of unbelief. No doubt the experience brought mixed feelings, but I believe the dominant feeling Sarah experienced was one of gratitude. The great Lord had brought forth a child of promise through her aged womb.
(3) Celebration. Verse 8 states, “The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.” Abraham called for celebration in response to God’s goodness and faithfulness! Why would God be so gracious to this elderly couple? Because God delights in doing … “far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Circumcision, laughter, and celebration followed the fulfillment of God’s promise.
“The next time you feel defeated and discouraged, remember Abraham and Sarah; and remind yourself that faith and promise go together. God keeps His promises and gives you the power you need to do what He wants you to do. No matter how long you may have to wait, you can trust God to accomplish His purposes” (Wiersbe, W. W. . Be Obedient. “Be” Commentary Series (98). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books).
What He promises He brings to pass!