Monday, November 15, 2010

Laughter (Genesis 21:1-7)

After two separate incidents where the existence of the son who was promised to Abraham and Sarah was threatened, it is with great relief that we read in Genesis 21 of the birth of Isaac:  "Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.  Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him." (Genesis 21:1-2 NIV)  These verses are full of reminders that it is the Lord that brought this about, and that He was faithful to do exactly what He had promised, at the time He had promised it.

Obediently, Abraham gave the child the name Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, as God had commanded. (v.3-4).

"Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.  Sarah said, 'God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.'  And she added, 'Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children?  Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.' " (Genesis 21:5-7 NIV)  Sarah's joy and pride in her new son is evident, and she is certainly not denying now that both she and her neighbors are laughing to think that the Lord would bring such a marvelous event about even though she and Abraham are elderly.

This mountaintop experience is a welcome respite from the strife and controversy of the previous chapters.  Soon, other events will intrude upon the couple's joy.  There will be further controversy, and further tests to endure.  However, for the moment, it is good to rejoice in the fact that the Lord keeps His promises.

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