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Ptr. Joby Soriano   /   Jul 20, 2014

God never made a promise that was too good to be true. Genesis 21 is all about the story of the amazing promises of God being fulfilled. Here are the reasons why we need to believe in God’s promises.

1. God’s Faithfulness and Timing is always Perfect

God has never promised us something that He didn’t plan to give to us. Just read Genesis 21:1-3 “Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.”

The promise that was first given 25 years ago was finally fulfilled. When Isaac was born, there was great joy and laughter. God told Abraham to name the child Isaac (Genesis 17:19), which means, “he laughs.” While Abraham laughed in shock and Sarah laughed in unbelief when they were told that Isaac would be born the next year, their laughter was changed to the laughter of joy as they held the child of promise in their arms.

When we see God accomplish His promises in the midst of impossible conditions our hearts should be inspired and our faith should be strengthened. Nothing is too hard for God. When God promises something, He will faithfully fulfill it His way, in His perfect time.

2.  God’s Protection and Provision is always Fulfilled

“Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, ‘Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.’" Genesis 21:9-10

The birth of Isaac not only resulted in joy; it also resulted in conflict. Ishmael mocked Isaac. The apostle Paul applies the spiritual lessons of this event: “But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh [Ishmael] persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit [Isaac], so it is now also.” Galatians 4:29. Ishmael was born out of man’s self-effort because Abram and Sarai used Hagar as the surrogate mother. Isaac on the other hand, was finally born of faith by God’s power. This allegory describes two ways we can choose to live today.

Will you live “under the law” in your own strength, your way, trying to please God by self-effort that will always lead to failure? Or will you humbly admit that on your own you can do nothing, but by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit you will trust and obey God to do great and mighty things?

Abraham sought the counsel of the Lord to know what to do. God’s promise that Hagar and Ishmael would be protected and provided for did not take away Abraham’s pain, but it gave him confidence and a sense of peace to do what God told him.

Abraham obeyed the Lord despite his hurting heart and sent Hagar and Ishmael away. Hagar and her son left full of despair and wondering about the uncertainty of their future. In the desert of Beersheba, the bread and water supplied by Abraham soon ran out. Hagar cried out to the Lord as she laid her son to die in the bushes. And the Lord heard (Gen. 21:17), and He asked Hagar to stop being afraid and when Hagar obeyed, God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water (Genesis 21:19). Hagar and Ishmael were protected and provided for by God. They were given a whole new life according to the promise of God. Ishmael grew up and later developed a nation.

Hagar’s faith is a showcase of our own flawed thinking. In times of crisis, we often become blind to God’s protection and provision. We should trust and obey God because He is faithful to His Promises, even though He often works in unexpected and unexplainable ways.

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