Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Set Time

O.T. #41 "A Set Time"    May 6, 2013
Genesis 21-Part 1
And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
Genesis 21:6 KJV


I turned the page of my calendar to May. What a busy time May is. Our family has 3 birthdays
with the birth of a new little one tomorrow, 2 anniversaries, 4 graduating at our local high school,
2 days of ESL training, preparation for the mission trip in 7 weeks, then we have 2 doctor appointments scheduled. That's besides all the regular monthly meetings. Whew! Well, June and
July are filling up on the calendar, too. We are setting time for family reunions, VBS, a
celebration of 125 years of WMU (mission organization in my state). We set times in our life,
but God does, too. Let's peek at Sarah's set time.

At the set time-Isaac, the son of promise was born. Did you know there is a set time for every
activity and every event? God set the time for you and me to be born, just as He did for Isaac.

Man does not control the world or time; God does. God steers us into the future with His hand,
and He is absolutely in control of all events. Events enter our lives at will, and we seem helpless
to control their arrival and departure. (Falwell)

What events? Ecclesiastes 3 tells us: There is a time to:
  • be born, and die,
  • plant, and pluck up that which is planted,
  • kill, and heal,
  • break down, and build up,
  • weep, and laugh,
  • mourn, and dance,
  • cast away stones, and gather stones together,
  • embrace, and refrain from embracing,
  • get, and lose,
  • keep, and cast away,
  • rend, and sew,
  • keep silence, and speak,
  • love, and hate,
  • of war, and of peace.
The set time for Sarah was when she conceived, the time God spoke about previously. You
know, the time when she and Abraham laughed at the news. Here we read about when baby
Isaac was born to a father of 100 years of age and a mother of 90 years of age. (And I thought
my parents were old at age 32 when I was born:)
Can we laugh with Sarah? Not in a mocking way, but in a rejoicing of the blessing of God. Can
you imagine awakening for the 2 o'clock feedings at her age? (I heard that-better her than me.
Or was that my thinking out loud?) I suppose that anyone who reads this chapter will laugh with
Sarah. God did keep His 25 year old promise, in His set time. Don't you know that every time
Sarah or Abraham called their son my name or saw him, they would be reminded of how they
 both had laughed before God when He told them he would give them a son in their old age.

Why did God wait 25 years?
Blackaby answers this question in his book, Experiencing God:

Because it took God 25 years to  make Abraham a father suitable for Isaac. God was concerned not so much about Abram but about founding a nation. The quality of the father will affect the quality of following generations. As goes the father, so go the next several generations. God took time to build Abram into a man of character. Abraham could not wait until Isaac was born and then try to become the kind of father required to raise a patriarch of God's people.

Do we ask God about out set times? Then do we follow His directions?


The birth of a new baby disrupts the whole family, and it did Abraham's family, too. Two or
three years later, Ishmael was heard about 17 when he mocked, laughed at Isaac. Sarah's
directions to Abraham was to send Ishmael away, which was a good idea. God wanted Isaac to
have a heart for Him and a growing faith, just as his father. Hagar's pagan practices and gods
would influence Ishmael, who would influence Isaac.

Though in great sorrow, Abraham believed God and obeyed. (verse 12) Could this giving up of
his first son, Ishmael, be preparation for being asked to give up his son Isaac, later, when he was
the same age as Ishmael was now? God always prepares us beforehand for the big moments of decision. (Blackaby)

In contrast of the half-brothers, we see a son of the flesh and a son of promise; the old covenant
of the law versus the new covenant of grace; the son of a slave and the son of a freewoman;
man's ways versus God's way. One had to go while the other stayed.


Let go of the flesh and follow the Spirit.

Do it God's way, not my way.

Trust God for His timing of the events of my life.

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