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[a] 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.”
The promise of God to Abraham and Sarah is at last fulfilled! Such joy! You can sense the amazement of Sarah at the blessing of becoming a mother, especially as she is 90 (see Chapter 18 v 11-12). Sarah acknowledges God’s blessing in verse 6 and I like to think she meant to tell everyone who hears about it that this was of God.
I wonder why God waited until Abraham and Sarah were too old that they needed a miracle to have a child. There are likely many reasons but some of the most important for us are the timing was for his glory and to show his faithfulness. Abraham and Sarah couldn’t take the glory for the birth of a son at their advanced age – it had to be God. God was finally bringing about his purpose to make Abraham and Sarah the parents of many descendants. (It was promised that Sarah would be the mother of nations, that kings of people will come from her – Ch 17 v 16).
This all happened in God’s perfect timing. God’s promises are not diminished by us having to wait. One reason for God delaying the birth of Isaac may have been to teach Abraham and Sarah to rely on him through the waiting.
God’s promises are not always brought to reality fast. In the waiting I learn to trust in Him, to rely on his love and perfect timing.
Ultimately, Isaac’s birth shows the grace of God – it was not because of any thing Abraham and Sarah did, in fact despite many things they did! Jesus’s birth encapsulates God’s grace towards me. He was born in God’s perfect timing and not because of anything I had done.
Dear Lord, despite my ignoring and dishonouring you, you sent Jesus to save me. I am so grateful and always will be. Amen
Written by Claire Moore