Journey through the Book of Genesis with me. The plan is simple. Read ONE chapter a day. Blog or journal 5* things you learned that you previously didn't know and ask 5* questions about the chapter that you'll ponder all week. Let's go!
** You'll probably learn way more than 5 things and have more than 5 questions about each chapter. That's totally fine. The more the merrier!
QUESTION 1: What was the nature of Ishmael’s “laughter” at Isaac. What was so bad about what he said/did to Isaac to warrant Sarah’s abrupt request that he and his mother, Hagar be sent packing?
QUESTION 2: What is the significance of Abraham waiting till Isaac was weaned (2-3 years?) before throwing a great feast? Should not this celebration have taken place on the 8th day when he was circumcised?
QUESTION 3: God had made a very personal promise to her husband that he would be the father of a great nation through her son, so why is Sarah still so threatened by Ishmael’s (and Hagar’s) presence?
QUESTION 4: In light of how wealthy Abraham was, (12:16; 13:2-7; 20:14) and considering how “displeasing” it was to him that he had to send Ishmael away, why did he send them off with only bread and a skin of water? Why didn’t he load up several caravans full of provisions to sustain them for years?
QUESTION 5: What became of Hagar and Ishmael after their desert encounter with the angel of the Lord? Hagar was an Egyptian (16:3), so it makes sense for her to have her son marry another Egyptian (21:21) since her husband had kicked her out. Who are the descendants of Ishmael?
QUESTION 6: Is the well’s location (where Abraham struck a deal with Abimelech) the same “Beersheba” where Hagar and Ishmael fled to in verse 14? If so, was this Abraham’s attempt to maintain contact/relationship with Hagar and Ishmael?
WHAT I LEARNED
INSIGHT 1: There's a joyful irony to Isaac's name. Isaac means, "He laughs." In Genesis 17:17-19 and in Genesis 18:10-15, Both Abraham and Sarah laughed at the possibility and promise of them bearing children in their old age. It was a laughter filled with hope but mixed with doubt. When the impossible becomes possible in 21:1-2, there’s no doubt that their lives are now filled with a different kind of laughter, a laughter filled with joy and faith(21:5-7).
INSIGHT 2: Galatians 4:29 suggests that Ishmael’s “laughter” at Isaac (v.9) was more than friendly play between two boys. In some form, shape, or manner, Ishmael must have been persecuting Isaac, which then explains Sarah’s drastic request of Abraham in v.10.
INSIGHT 3: Hagar has suffered much in this narrative, yet each defeat has resulted in a personal encounter with “The angel of God.” (16:7-14 and 21:15-19)
INSIGHT 4: God’s reiteration of his promise to Hagar (16:10 and 21:18) is an encouraging reminder that God ALWAYS fulfils His promise even when our circumstances take a turn for the worse.
INSIGHT 5: God’s hand of favor is so mightily present with Abraham that his neighbors (Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army) recognize the importance of associating closely with him. The promise of genesis 12:2-3 rings true here, “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.