Genesis 21:1-21

 |  April 9, 2018

Gen. 21:1-21

  1. Locate the passage

Abraham believed God’s promise, but to this point, it had not been realized. God could have used other means to make of Abraham a great nation (as Abraham offered several times), but His promise was a child through Abraham and Sarah. This chapter records the fulfillment of God’s promise.

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative. It records Sarah’s responds to God having made her laugh again – this time out of joy. It also records the conversation between Abraham and Sarah regarding Ishmael living in the same house as Isaac, God’s instructions to Abraham, Hagar’s prayer, and the Lord’s comfort and rescue of Hagar.

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

21:1-7 – The Lord visited Sarah

21:8-13 – In Isaac your seed will be called

21:14-21 – The Lord heard the cry of the lad

  1. Exegete the passage

Isaac was the child of promise. But that did not mean that God did not care for Hagar and Ishmael.

Remember the certainty with which the Lord promised a child through Sarah in 18:10 – “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” Here, God’s promise is being realized.

21:1 – The Lord “visited” Sarah

21:2 – “At the set time”

21:3 – Abraham obeyed the Lord and gave the child a name (Cf. Gen. 17:19) that both reflected their laughter of disbelief and the subsequent laughter of joy.

21:4 – “As God commanded him”

21:6 – “God has made me laugh”

21:9 – “The son of Hagar … scoffing”

21:10 – “Cast out this woman”

21:11 – The matter was “displeasing” to Abraham

21:12-13 – God spoke to Abraham (in a dream?) and reminded him that the promise would be through Isaac, but that God would also bless Ishmael because “he is   your seed.”

21:14 – Abraham rose early

21:14 – Hagar “wandered” in the wilderness

21:17 – “God heard”

21:18 – The angel of the Lord instructed Hagar to take the boy by the hand

21:19 – God opened her eyes

21:19-20 – God did for Ishmael what He promised

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

Exp. The verbs in this passage are key: God visited Sarah; God heard the boy; God opened Hagar’s eyes; God was with the lad


Category: Sermon Structure
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