Isaac’s birth results in conflict with Hagar’s son Ishmael.
6. Evidence of God’s faithfulness and power
The Lord kept His promise to Sarah.
Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age.
Isaac was born at the time God said.
To Abraham, “your offspring will be named through Isaac.”
Also to Abraham, “I will also make a great of the son of the servant, because he is your child.”
7. Ishmael mocks Isaac to the point of persecution.
The Lord told Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away because Ishmael was a product of man’s effort and striving instead of faith—a work of the flesh, not the son He promised. The covenant inheritance for Abraham’s lineage will not be shared with Ishmael because he was not part of the covenant.
In Galatians 4, the Jewish legalists who troubled the Galatians protested they were children of Abraham and thus blessed. Paul admitted they were children of Abraham, but they were like Ishmael, not Isaac! The legalists claimed Abraham as their father. Paul asked who was their mother, Hagar or Sarah? Ishmael was born of a slave, and born according to the flesh. Isaac was born of a free-woman, and born according to promise. Even so, the legalists promoted a relationship with God based in bondage and according to the flesh. The true gospel of grace offers liberty in Jesus Christ and is a promise received by faith.1
8. Abraham’s real heir was Isaac, son of the free-woman.
God not only directed Abraham to do as Sarah had said but told Abraham not to grieve over this action. If we do produce an Ishmael, we must not become attached to it. God will tell us to forsake all but His plans for us.2
Sometimes, as believers we do our will in God’s name. Or we may pattern our lives after someone else who is engaged in a worthy cause. Many think living a good life is enough.
Our own best efforts don’t please God.
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6 Strong’s Concordance, public domain
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture taken from ESV Bible translation.
My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Genesis Lesson 13 day 3
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