Genesis 21:1 - Discovering God's Promises 1 PDF Print E-mail

IN THE BEGINNING

Genesis 21:1-8

“Discovering God’s Promises 1”

GENESIS 21:

1 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised.

2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.

3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.

4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him.

5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

6 Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me."

7 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."

8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast.

I. PROMISES CHANGE LIVES

Abraham is now 100 years old. He’s been married presumably for around 80 years. For 80 years he and Sarah have not been able to have a child. In our study we’ve already established how culturally devastating that was to Sarah. She was considered a wasted life – damaged goods – because she couldn’t bear a child. After all, hadn’t God told them to be fruitful and multiply?

Abraham suffered that empty space in his life quietly. He wasn’t the best of husbands, but he had stayed with her…for 80 years, and he had sought to be faithful to God.

For the last 25 years Abraham had been promised by God that he would have a son. For 25 years Abraham wondered when…and if that really would happen.

A verse in Hebrews gives us some tremendous insight to Abraham’s character:

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.

(Heb 11:11)

God is a God of promises. There are thousands of promises in the Bible. Generally we consider around 3500 of them to be applicable for our lives, however Herbert Lockyer wrote a book called All The Promises Of The Bible, and he lists over 8000 promises.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate In the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

(2 Pet 1:3-4)

Now, if it is important enough to God to make thousands of promises, it’s important for us to discover why these promises are so important, and how to apply them in our lives. Let’s take a look at the foundation of God’s promises.

II. THE FOUNDATION OF GOD’S PROMISES

A.. God's Promises Are An Affirmation Of His Intent

"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God."

(2 Cor 1:20)

God’s promises are a window to His will. By knowing His promises we can know His desires. His promises reveal His intent and His plan.

For example:

I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

(2 Cor 6:18)

Here we see God’s intent to have a Father-child relationship with us. Think about that! God sees you as His child. He wants you to see Him as your Father. Now if you never had a good relationship with your earthly father this is difficult to understand and appreciate, but God wants the ideal Father-child relationship.

What is the ideal Father-child relationship? That’s what God is looking for between you and Him.

In that simple promise we see one of God’s goals for you and Himself. That opens up an incredible world of experiences. And believe me, that is even more exciting to God than it is to you! He longs for that kind of relationship and all that it has to offer.

B. God Expects You To Claim His Promises.

Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.

(Psa 119:140)

What does it mean to "claim a promise"? When my children were small sometimes I would make promises to them like, "When I get home from work, I'll take you fishing." When I got home that afternoon, the kids were waiting for me at the door, clamoring to go fishing. I'd made the promise and they were claiming it!

Imagine how disappointed I would have been if I had made the promise to take the kids fishing, and having planned on it, hurried home to spend that time with my children, only to find that the kids had forgotten about the promise and were interested and

involved in other things that didn’t include me. That’s how God must feel when His

children ignore His promises.

Take inventory right now. How many of God’s promises have you taken Him up on?

If you are having trouble knowing God’s will for your life, perhaps it’s because you

haven’t discovered the obvious: God’s promises reveal His will! By claiming His promises you are doing His will.

C. God Will Honor Every Promise He Has Made.

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has

made.

(Psa 145:13)

God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

(Num 23:19)

D. Claiming A Promise Is An Act Of Faith.

For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless...Therefore, the promise comes by faith...

(Rom 4:14,16)

1. Since faith is "trusting obedience to the known will of God", claiming a promise is

simply obeying the terms of the promise. These are called Conditional Promises.

For example:

...If you seek him, he will be found by you...

(1 Chr 28:9)

This is a promise, but it has terms. God will reveal Himself to those who seek Him.

Note the terms and the promises in this passage:

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."

(Psa 91:14-15)

a. Your responsibility:

1. To love God (devotion with a desire to please)

2. To acknowledge His name (Lord – supreme and absolute authority

of your life)

3. To call on Him (put your trust in Him)

b. God’s promises:

1. I will rescue you.

2. I will protect you.

3. I will answer you.

4. I will be with you in trouble.

5. I will deliver you.

6. I will honor you.

2. There are also Unconditional Promises.

God gives them without terms. For example:

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people...

(Acts 2:17)

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

(John 14:3)

3. Failing to claim the promises of God is actually sin.

Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promise. They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD.

(Psa 106:24-25)

III. PREPARING FOR PROMISE LIVING

GENESIS 21:

Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised.

2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.

3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.

4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him.

5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

6 Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me."

7 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."

8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast.

A. The Heart Of Promise Living

Discovering the promises of God begins with

1. Complete surrender to the will of God.

2. Total dependence on the ways of God.

3. Absolute confidence on the work of God.

B. The Lifestyle Of Promise Living

1. Obey God’s instructions concerning His promises. (:3-4)

2. Trust God’s timing of His promises. (:5)

3. Share the joy of God’s promises. (:6)

4. Acknowledge the miracle of God’s promises. (:7)

5. Celebrate the fulfillment of God’s promises. (:8)