by Jeff Lynn

This content is part of a series.

Who's Laughing With You? (8 of 12)
Series: Roots
Jeff Lynn
Genesis 16:1-17:27, 18:1-15, 21:1-7
November 13, 2011

TEXT: Genesis 16:1-6

Last week we saw where God "cut a covenant" with Abram, confirming to Abram that the land in which he was living would be given to Abram's offspring.

God even showed Abram that his offspring would be enslaved in Egypt for 400 years.

So the promise to Abram that this land, which today is known as Israel, would be given to his offspring was confirmed by a covenant God made with Abram; but it wouldn't take place until 700 years later.

There are some who believe that this covenant for Israel is still in effect.
That is why you have the turmoil in Israel today among the Jews and Palestinians.

Back in verse 4 of chapter 15, God told Abram that he would have a son through whom all this blessing would come.

Let me give you a summary of this narrative and then I'll go back and ask you three questions based on this story.

As we begin in chapter 16, 10 years after God cuts a covenant with Abram promising him that he would bear a son and that his offspring would inherit this land, there is still no son.

So, Sarai gives Abram her servant so she can be a surrogate in order for Sarai to obtain children; literally, "so that her house can be built up".

Hagar becomes pregnant.

She looks at Sarai with "contempt", which causes a little strife in the family and Sarai tells her to "hit the road."

We see where God visits Hagar as she is heading back to Egypt to her homeland and tells her to go submit herself to Sarai and that her son would be called Ishmael and that God would multiply her offspring.
So, a few months later Ishmael is born.

Then 13 years later, in the first part of chapter 17, God reaffirms His covenant with Abram, telling him to be blameless before God in order that God would multiply his offspring greatly.

God changes His name to Abraham, which means, "father of a multitude."

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