Saturday, February 5, 2022
“But Sarai was barren; she had no child” (Genesis 11:30 KJV).
How will the LORD God prove Israel is His miracle nation?
At age 100 years, Abraham finally saw the birth of Isaac, the son God freely promised him (Genesis 21:5). Sarah was 90. The writer of Hebrews penned the following commentary: “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable” (Hebrews 11:11,12).
However, Ishmael (the product of Abraham’s flesh) clashed with his younger half-brother Isaac (the result of God’s grace). With teenager Ishmael teasing little Isaac—the conflict between Hagar and Sarah now transferred to their respective sons—Abraham is forced to evict Hagar and Ishmael so Isaac can grow up in peace (Genesis 21:8-13; cf. Galatians 4:21-31). Again, works-religion (man’s efforts) and grace (God’s efforts) cannot coexist. The situation of Ishmael and Isaac is clear proof of this transdispensational (across the Bible timeline) truth. Had the LORD not enabled Abraham’s elderly body to produce seed, and Sarah’s aged womb to use that seed to bear a child, there would be no Isaac… and, thus, no Israel. Israel is God’s miracle nation.
Let us fast-forward several decades. Isaac is now 60 years old (Genesis 25:26), and he and his wife Rebekah have been childless for 20 years. (Does this not sound familiar?!) “And Isaac intreated [asked, pled] the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived” (Genesis 25:21). Yet, something is noticeably different here: Isaac did not repeat his parents’ folly. Whereas Abraham and Sarah connived, Isaac prayed because he depended on God’s grace! The LORD works, and twins Esau and Jacob are born to Isaac and Rebekah (verses 22-26), Jacob becoming the next heir of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 28:10-15). Jacob is the latest patriarch of Israel, and he too must learn Israel will result from God’s work not his own….