Genesis 21:1
Now the LORD attended to Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what He had promised.
Isaac a Type of ChristJ. Burns, D. D.Genesis 21:1-5
Light in the Clouds; Or, Comfort for the DiscouragedW. Hoyt.Genesis 21:1-5
Prayer Sure to be AnsweredT. Guthrie.Genesis 21:1-5
The Birth of IsaacT. H. Leale.Genesis 21:1-5
Birth, Circumcision and Weaning of IsaacR.A. Redford Genesis 21:1-8

Here, is -

I. THE FAITIIFULNESS OF JEHOVAH. "As he had spoken. At the set time." "God hath made me to laugh."

II. THE FAITH OF HIS SERVANT, which was evidenced in waiting, hoping, naming the son born unto him, obeying the commandment.

III. THE GIFT of God was THE REVELATION of God: his love, his power, his purpose, his patience.

IV. Taken TYPICALLY, the foreshadowing of the miraculous conception, the kingdom of God, as originating in the sphere of human infirmity and helplessness; as being the introduction of bright hope and cheerful promise into the gloomy barrenness of human life; as the lifting up of man's state into the covenant of God, sealed with his appointed ordinance, surrounded with the promised blessings. Isaac was the type of Christ, Sarah of Mary, Abraham of the people and Church of God.

V. SARAH'S SONG, the first cradle hymn of a mother's thankful joy, representing the Divine delight in the pure and simple happiness of those who are children of God. Abraham rejoiced to see the brightness of the future (John 8:56).

VI. THE WEANING FEAST. All called in to share in the joy. Household joy should be widespread. We may suppose that such a banquet was religious in its character so, not only is it a sanction of religious festivals, but it reminds us that we should connect the events of the family life immediately with the word and ordinances of God. - R.

Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

1. God's power as distinctly seen.

2. God's power as it affects personal interest.

3. God's power manifested as benevolent.


1. The promises of God sooner or later pass into exact fulfilment.

2. Their fulfilment justifies our confidence in God.

3. Their fulfilment is the stay of the believer's soul.

III. As IT ILLUSTRATES THE FAITH OF MAN. Abraham believed in God against all human hope, and Sarah "by faith received strength to conceive seed" (Hebrews 11:11).

1. It was a faith which was severely tried.

(1)By long waiting. Abraham had waited for twenty-five years.

(2)By natural difficulties. He and his wife had advanced to a stage of life when there could be no human prospect of offspring.

2. It was a practical faith. All the time he was waiting, Abraham was obedient to the word of the Lord.


1. Both births were announced long before.

2. Both occur at the time fixed by God.

3. Both persons were named before their birth.

4. Both births were supernatural.

5. Both births were the occasion of great joy.

6. Both births are associated with the life beyond.

(T. H. Leale.)

I. IN THY APPROPRIATENESS OF HIS NAME. "Laughter," "rejoicing."



1. The description of the sacrifice which was given. "Thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest." How naturally our thoughts are led by this language to Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, the Son of His delight, His dearly beloved Son.

2. He was to be presented as a sacrifice (Genesis 22:1, 2, &c). Here again we are directly led to Jesus. He came to be a sacrifice.

3. He was to be devoted and sacrificed by his Father. To Abraham God said, "Take now thy son," &c. Jesus was God's gift to the world.

4. He was to be offered on mount Moriah. To this spot, with his father, he travelled for three days, &c. Near the same spot — on Calvary, Jesus was sacrificed for the sin of the world.

5. Isaac bare the wood, which was designed to burn the offering. Christ also bare the cross on which He was to be crucified.

6. Isaac freely submitted to be bound and tied upon the altar. Jesus voluntarily went forth to death, and freely surrendered his spirit into the hands of his Father. But here the typical resemblance terminates. For Isaac a substitute is provided.APPLICATION.

1. Let the subject lead us to contemplate the true desert of sin — which is death.

2. Consider the necessity of an atoning sacrifice.

3. Consider the infinite merit and preciousness of that sacrifice which God has provided — His own Son.

4. The necessity of a believing, personal interest in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

5. The awful consequence of neglecting the propitiation the love of God has provided — eternal death.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

I. Back there in the beginning, God's call to Abraham had been accompanied by a promise. "From thy kindred, and from thy Father's house unto a land that I will show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing, and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." So accompanied with the call came the promise. He was to sacrifice — but sacrifice was only a rougher path to a smooth and shining end. Out of its thorns was to blossom a better destiny than Abraham otherwise could possibly have gained. It was not all cross for Abraham; it was crown, too, and the cross was but the ladder climbing up which he should reach and wear the crown. What was true for Abraham is just as true for you and me. There comes to us no call of God, how rough and heavy soever its yoke may seem, that is not cushioned too with promise, that does not point onward and upward from itself to some vast and burdened blessing which otherwise we could not gain! You must yield a bad habit. Yes, but in order that you may enter into a great self-mastering.

II. And the energy to do the duty, the strength to bear the burden, is to be found where? This is where it is to be found — in faith in the promise. Well, Abraham yields to the call and puts faith in the promise, and goes on and enters Canaan. They have staid in the land for several long years, and still their tent is voiceless of a child. They have been much blessed in other ways. Abraham is a person held, too, in very good repute. His name and position are most honourable. Every way and on every side the best things seem to come to Abraham — except the one special thing which he desires most of all, and which is absolutely essential to lift him into the high destiny God has promised him. He is still childless. I think, too, Abraham must have been just now in a despondent reaction after a great strain. The anxiety about Lot, and that military expedition, had taxed him terribly. I think all this, because the Word of God, which just now comes to him, seems to be a word answering to just such a mood as this. And then the Lord illustrates the glory of this promise to him. "Look up," God said to Abraham; "canst thou tell the stars to number them? So shall thy seed be." It is a great thing when a husband and a wife are united in the same faith. It is a great thing when they stand in equal faith, and so together pass forward into the uncertain years. Usually where a man and wife are believing people the wife has the greater faith. It is she who gets the firmest hold upon the Divine promises. It is she who rests on them the more utterly. It is she who, by many a faithful word and by the serene example of her trust, gives heart to the husband's failing courage, gives swiftness to his more laggard step. It was not so with Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was more a man of faith than Sarah was a woman of faith. And Abraham instead of being led on in the right way by his wife was led off in the wrong was by her. I have no time to wait to tell you of all the gain and shame which came to Abraham and to Sarah from this false step. How, even though Ishmael came to the tent, discord came with him; how jealous Sarah grew, and then how cruel. From the time of that second manifestation of the promise and the ratification of it full fourteen years have sped away. Ishmael has been born, but Ishmael is not the promised seed. Still Abraham's tent is empty of the true heir. I think Abraham had fallen into a lower sort of life since he had gone off in the wrong way. I suppose he tried to be content with Ishmael. That is the way a great many Christians live. They do not think that God means all He says. Possibly He may mean half; but never all, to them anyway. They must get on as best they can with a little joy and a little peace, and be very thankful for that little, and never hope that they can have much more. And then God comes to break in upon him with another and better word of promise still. He comes to him announcing for Himself a new name — God Almighty, Omnipotent, the God with whom nothing is impossible. "Abraham," He says, "I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect," that is, sincere in faith — upright. And then the promise is again renewed in terms more unmistakable. Abraham is to have a son and Sarah is to be its mother. All God's thoughts for us are always greater than our thoughts for Him.

(W. Hoyt.)

When the season has been cold and backward, when rains fell and prices rose, and farmers desponded, and the poor despaired, I have heard old people, whose hopes resting on God's promise did not rise and fall with the barometer nor shifting winds, say we shall have harvest after all; and this you can safely say of the labours and fruits of prayer.

(T. Guthrie.)

Abimelech, Abraham, Hagar, Isaac, Phichol, Sarah
Beersheba, Egypt, Gerar, Paran
Note, Promised, Remembered, Sarah, Spoken, Undertaken, Visited
1. Isaac is born, and circumcised.
6. Sarah's joy.
8. Isaac is weaned.
9. Hagar and Ishmael sent away.
15. Hagar in distress.
17. The angel relieves and comforts her.
23. Abimelech's covenant with Abraham at Beersheba.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 21:1-2

     1035   God, faithfulness
     1055   God, grace and mercy
     5724   offspring

Genesis 21:1-3

     5720   mothers, examples

Genesis 21:1-5

     5686   fathers, examples

Genesis 21:1-7

     5076   Abraham, life of
     5652   babies
     5658   boys
     5733   pregnancy

Compassion for Souls
Behold the compassion of a mother for her child expiring with thirst, and remember that such a compassion ought all Christians to feel towards souls that are perishing for lack of Christ, perishing eternally, perishing without hope of salvation. If the mother lifted up her voice arid wept, so also should we; and if the contemplation of her dying, child was all too painful for her, so may the contemplation of the wrath to come, which is to pass upon every soul that dies impenitent, become too painful
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Therefore, if we Compare the Things Themselves, we May no Way Doubt that The...
28. Therefore, if we compare the things themselves, we may no way doubt that the chastity of continence is better than marriage chastity, whilst yet both are good: but when we compare the persons, he is better, who hath a greater good than another. Further, he who hath a greater of the same kind, hath also that which is less; but he, who only hath what is less, assuredly hath not that which is greater. For in sixty, thirty also are contained, not sixty also in thirty. But not to work from out that
St. Augustine—On the Good of Marriage

The Gospel Feast
"When Jesus then lifted up His eyes, and saw a great company come unto Him, He saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?"--John vi. 5. After these words the Evangelist adds, "And this He said to prove him, for He Himself knew what He would do." Thus, you see, our Lord had secret meanings when He spoke, and did not bring forth openly all His divine sense at once. He knew what He was about to do from the first, but He wished to lead forward His disciples, and to arrest and
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

Of Bearing the Cross --One Branch of Self-Denial.
The four divisions of this chapter are,--I. The nature of the cross, its necessity and dignity, sec. 1, 2. II. The manifold advantages of the cross described, sec. 3-6. III. The form of the cross the most excellent of all, and yet it by no means removes all sense of pain, sec. 7, 8. IV. A description of warfare under the cross, and of true patience, (not that of philosophers,) after the example of Christ, sec. 9-11. 1. THE pious mind must ascend still higher, namely, whither Christ calls his disciples
Archpriest John Iliytch Sergieff—On the Christian Life

But if Moreover any not Having Charity, which Pertaineth to the Unity of Spirit...
23. But if moreover any not having charity, which pertaineth to the unity of spirit and the bond of peace whereby the Catholic Church is gathered and knit together, being involved in any schism, doth, that he may not deny Christ, suffer tribulations, straits, hunger, nakedness, persecution, perils, prisons, bonds, torments, swords, or flames, or wild beasts, or the very cross, through fear of hell and everlasting fire; in nowise is all this to be blamed, nay rather this also is a patience meet to
St. Augustine—On Patience

The Annunciation of Jesus the Messiah, and the Birth of his Forerunner.
FROM the Temple to Nazareth! It seems indeed most fitting that the Evangelic story should have taken its beginning within the Sanctuary, and at the time of sacrifice. Despite its outward veneration for them, the Temple, its services, and specially its sacrifices, were, by an inward logical necessity, fast becoming a superfluity for Rabbinism. But the new development, passing over the intruded elements, which were, after all, of rationalistic origin, connected its beginning directly with the Old Testament
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The First Chaldaean Empire and the Hyksos in Egypt
Syria: the part played by it in the ancient world--Babylon and the first Chaldaean empire--The dominion of the Hyksos: Ahmosis. Some countries seem destined from their origin to become the battle-fields of the contending nations which environ them. Into such regions, and to their cost, neighbouring peoples come from century to century to settle their quarrels and bring to an issue the questions of supremacy which disturb their little corner of the world. The nations around are eager for the possession
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 4

The Holiness of God
The next attribute is God's holiness. Exod 15:51. Glorious in holiness.' Holiness is the most sparkling jewel of his crown; it is the name by which God is known. Psa 111:1. Holy and reverend is his name.' He is the holy One.' Job 6:60. Seraphims cry, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.' Isa 6:6. His power makes him mighty, his holiness makes him glorious. God's holiness consists in his perfect love of righteousness, and abhorrence of evil. Of purer eyes than
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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