Thursday (2/8)
Thursday (2/8)

Thursday (2/8)

The Passage

Genesis 17:15-27

15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”

22 When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham. 23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27 And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

Word Work

Capture the big idea. God’s Word communicates big ideas. Periodically ask: What’s the big idea in this sentence, paragraph, or chapter?

Word Thoughts:

Isaac means “he laughs.” The motif of laughter occurs in a number of passages associated with the birth of Isaac. In v. 17 and 18:12–15, Abraham and Sarah, respectively, laugh out of unbelief that a son will be born to them, but there may be an element of incredulous joy in these instances as well. The joy of giving birth to Isaac causes Sarah to laugh (21:6). Cf. Ishmael’s laughter (21:9). I will establish my covenant with him. Echoing what has been said in 17:7, this verse clarifies that the eternal covenant will be “established” with Isaac, but not Ishmael (see vv. 20–21). Here an important distinction is drawn between those with whom the covenant is “established,” and those who may receive particular benefits of the covenant. While Ishmael and the other male members of Abraham’s household are circumcised, the continuation of the covenant is linked to a unique line of Abraham’s descendants that continues through Isaac (see Introduction: History of Salvation Summary; cf. chart). This line eventually leads to Jesus Christ, through whom God’s blessing is mediated in a saving way to others. (1)

Word Reflection:

  1. What stood out?
  2. Why did Abraham laugh at God’s promise?
  3. How do we know that Abraham believed God’s promise?
Memory Verse(s): Genesis 17:21

21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”

End in Prayer

Resources used:

  1. ESV Study Bible