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Daily Bible Study
Lesson # Genesis 17:17-21
Study Material - Genesis 17:17-21
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, 'Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?' 18 And Abraham said to God, 'Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!' 19 But God said, 'No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.'
One year hence, Sarah will have a son. His name will be Isaac which means laughter. For Sarah it will mean 'laughter inside of me'. Abraham will laugh now, Sarah will laugh in the next chapter even as Abraham negotiates for the righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah. We will see later why these two events (the sexual death of Abraham and Sarah, and the spiritual death of Sodom and Gomorrah) are brought together in these common passages, and why they are similar as well as dis-similar.
Abraham has an outward laugh, not hidden from anyone. It was not a laugh of unbelief for he is going to have all of the male members of his household circumcised. It was not a laugh of ridicule for he believes the word spoken to him by God. Often we study and become discouraged, or we hear folks making comments that Gods word does nothing for them in their life. Everyone can become discouraged, what with all of the potential problems that anyone of us can experience at any moment in our lives. Sometimes those problems are justified, sometimes those problems are totally unjustified. Sometimes our problems leave us feeling totally helpless and cast out into the world with absolutely no one to help us. Other times the problems are nothing but a nuisance.
Then sooner or later, if we get back with a program of Bible study, and as our spiritual growth begins to gel once again, we realize inside us that a lot of our problems were really nothing at all, and we laugh not at others, but at ourselves. The laugh is one of 'Stupid me, how could I have been so dumb all of those years'. The laugh is one of relief in our realizing that God still has a plan for our lives. That it is not to late despite all our dumb decisions throughout the years. The laugh is one of happiness in learning and appreciating what God has done for us without holding some grudge and despite our never earning or deserving the blessing.
Abraham expresses concern for Ishmael, after all he is his son. A normal and proper attitude of a loving parent. But Ishmael will have his own blessing, something expressly designed for him. Ishmael will receive common grace, blessings of this world. He will have 12 princes in future generations. But as with all unbelievers or negative believers, there will be some pleasures in life, short lived as they may be, however misery will be their inevitable legacy. We will see that after Gen. 36, reference to Ishmael is no more. I am clueless as to how Mohammed figured out that he had some link back 2600 years to Abraham let alone Ishmael. Only Jesus' lineage was documented accurately up until his first advent. After the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 AD, there were no further records to rely upon.
Isaac, on the other hand, will be positive in doctrine as well as the designated line of the savior whose mother is Sarah, Abraham's legitimate wife. The line of inheritance is through spiritual commitment and spiritual rebirth, not physical birth or blood relations.
The covenant issued by God is to those whom God chooses, not to whom man chooses. Abram chose Hagar who gave birth to an illegitimate son. Gods plan calls for purity of soul (wisdom) and life (application). Gods blessings flow to those who follow His principles of righteousness, not to convenient expressions of human desire. God knows the future and chooses with certainty. Mans choices when God is disregarded, are merely choices of wishful thinking. Regardless of the problems that arise in your life, if God is first I your life, then those problems will be swept away by God, as though they were nothing.
Sarah takes a little more time to get her attitude together, but in time she does. A family will be the recipient of maximum blessing when both parents are advancing to spiritual maturity. Just as there is a principle of double portion when it comes to the apportionment of inheritance, so there is a principle of double blessing to mature believers. When a married couple are both spiritually mature, then the blessings that flow to the household are tremendous.
What a great loss, when people live their entire lives in their self righteousness, contentiousness, and stubbornness, when blessings are merely a program of daily Bible study away.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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