Friday, October 14, 2016

Genesis 21:1-8 comments: the miracle of Isaac

1 ¶  And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 2  For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3  And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 4  And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5  And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. 6  And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 7  And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age. 8  And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

It is stated clearly that Sarah’s conception of Isaac here in this Philistine king’s generous gift of land was an act of God’s direct will. It went against what we think of as natural processes. We would call it a miracle. However, is not any woman conceiving a child a miracle of God? Lifeless, empty space is the most logical thing in the universe. For there to be something rather than nothing staggers the mind in its improbability without a rational, directing will. Even moreso for there to be life, that complicated set of functions from the cell, a little mini-universe all its own, to consciousness, that collection of countless numbers of cells to be self-aware, is beyond amazing. Since we know that the tendency is for organized things, on their own, to simply fall apart, and not for random pieces of lifeless matter to decide on their own to unite to form a complicated thing or process, we must understand that for this life to function, to operate, to exist, it must be a continuous miracle.

Jeremiah understood this.

Jeremiah 1:4 ¶  Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

David knew this.

Psalm 71:5  For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth. 6  By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.

Now, certainly they understood this, as did Isaiah in chapter 49, in the context of being called by God, born to a specific purpose. But, in the way the Bible is written with characters offered as examples for us to see reality we can understand that nothing is without a purpose. As Paul wrote;

Romans 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Randomness does not exist except as a justification in our minds for atheism, to justify our sin and make it have no consequence or meaning.

Isaac, Strong’s dictionary tells us, means, “He laughs,” but that is also clear from the context. Remember that both Abraham and Sarah laughed at the promise as being beyond something they could even wrap their minds around. Sarah was a beautiful, desirous woman but beyond her child-bearing years.

Abraham obeyed God in circumcising Isaac. Read chapter 17:9-14 again for confirmation.

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