Genesis 21 Commentary
Isaac is born. The promise is fulfilled. Isaac is the seed or is the one whose seed would bring blessings to the nations. Abraham is a passing and fading song. The blessing would fall on Isaac. This is the beginning of a long line from which the Savior of the world would eventually come. Isaac is the second of the three patriarchal figures.
Ishmael mocks Isaac and he is chased together with the mother. Isaac required space for development. The LORD provisioned for it.
But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. Genesis 21:12 NIV
Interesting answer to prayer. Just when you are expecting a resolution to some distressing issue the LORD gives you this answer. “Don’t distress”. Just like in the many cases of fear, the LORD simply instructs, “don’t fear.” Abraham was feeling for his son, and probably for the mother also but the LORD was not going to have any of it. But don’t be mistaken. The LORD had a better plan for Ishmael.
Abraham is blessed. We have a story of Abimelek that appears more like a pop-up or just some historic occurrence but in truth it is very much connected. God would bless the nations via Abraham. Now the nations can see the blessing and favor on Abraham’s life and seek to associate with that blessing. The calling of Abraham remains on the church today. Does the world look at us as blessed? Do we ourselves know and feel blessed? Are people lining up to associate with the blessing of God in our lives?
Abimelek spoke prophetically about Abraham descendants. They would be powerful and prosperous.