Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac

Key Verse: “Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
—Genesis 18:14

Selected Scripture:
Genesis 15:1-6;
18:1-5; 21:1-8

ABRAM WAS TOLD THAT God was with him, “Fear not, … I am thy shield.” (Gen. 15:1) What a wonderful pledge that everything would work out in his life for good because he had faith in God. “When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?” (Job 34:29) It also confirms that a seed was promised who would be fulfilled in a twofold way: in a natural posterity, or to an earthly people, “as the dust of the earth” (Gen. 13:16; John 8:37), and in a spiritual posterity, “Look now toward heaven, … so shall thy seed be” (Gen. 15:5), referring to a heavenly seed. God appeared to Abram, and changed his name to Abraham, “A father of many nations have I made thee.” (chap. 17:5) Abraham would also come to represent all people who love righteousness and truth.

At this time Sarai, Abraham’s wife, was barren. (chap. 16:1) God told Abraham that she would now be called by a new name, “Sarah.” (chap. 17:15) Her name which signifies ‘princess,’ was fitting because, as the account continues, “she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.” (vs. 16) She was to have a son, and Abraham laughed because Sarah was ninety years of age. However, God told him, “Thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant.” (vs. 19) This was also fitting for the name Isaac means ‘laughter,’ and represents the “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”—Luke 2:10

Abraham pictures God, Sarah pictures the Abrahamic Covenant, and Isaac signifies Christ Jesus. The name Isaac also symbolizes our joys in the Lord in the present time. “We, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” (Gal. 4:28) The fact that Sarah was barren corresponds to the barrenness of the Abrahamic Covenant for 2000 years. It would begin to have its real fulfillment when the angel of the Lord proclaimed the birth of the Messiah—the long-promised seed of Abraham. (Luke 2:11) As a Savior, he would be the life-giver to the world, having redeemed all from the curse of sin and death.—Isa. 9:6

Abraham had been living in Canaan for a long time, when, at noon, three men who were strangers one day appeared to him. He was quick to show his hospitality, and his wife Sarah joined them. The three men, Abraham afterwards learned, were angels, and one of them was a special messenger of God. (Gen. 18:1-10) “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” (vs. 19) This incident in Abraham’s life concerning Sodom would further show us the loving character of his heart that went out in sympathy to the people of the town, to any who may have been righteous. It also shows us that our Father’s promise of a judgment day for mankind will include the fact that, by Divine arrangement, Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man. (Heb. 2:9) He “gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”—I Tim. 2:6, Acts 17:31

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