Who is the Promised Child?
Isaac was the promised
child, born to Abraham and
Sarah in their old age as the
fulfillment of God's promise
to Abraham to make his
descendants a great nation.
When God called Abram to go to a
country He would show him, the call
came with God’s promise that in
Abram “all families of the earth”
would be blessed. Abram and Sarah
had no children, yet God promised to
make Abram’s name great.
Later, when Abram was 99 years old, God
promised that He would “multiply thee
exceedingly.” God changed his name from
Abram, meaning “exalted father,” to
Abraham, meaning “father of a
multitude.”At this time, Abraham and Sarah
still had no children, though a son, Ishmael,
had been born to Abraham and Hagar,
Sarah’s Egyptian handmaid.
Ishmael was not the promised son, so how
would God keep His promise to make Abraham
a blessing to a multitude?
The answer came one day when three men
paid Abraham a visit. When he saw them,
Abraham fell in humility at their feet because
he immediately knew one of them was the
Lord. “My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy
sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy
servant,” he pleaded.
Abraham wanted them to stay long enough for
him to be hospitable, and they allowed him to
treat them as honored guests. He understood
fully, it seems, that he was hosting the Lord
and two angels.
The Lord asked, “Where is Sarah, your wife?”
Abraham said she was in the tent. Then the
Lord said, “Sarah thy wife shall have a son.”
Sarah, who was listening to the conversation,
heard this and laughed.
She was an old woman, and she thought child-
bearing was out of the question. At least she
thought that was the case. Abraham, too, had
laughed earlier when he asked, “Shall a child be
born unto him that is an hundred years old? And
shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?”“Is
anything too hard for the Lord?” the Lord asked
Abraham when He heard Sarah laugh. She would
give birth to a son, the Lord promised again.
Just as the Lord promised, Sarah conceived and
gave Abraham a son “at the set time of which God
had spoken to him.”
The couple named their son Isaac, as the Lord had
instructed. The name Isaac means laughter. Sarah
said, “God hath made me to laugh, so that all that
hear will laugh with me.” She must have thought
about how she laughed at the Lord’s words that
day when she was eavesdropping. Sarah laughed
then in disbelief.
Now, Sarah laughed for another reason. She
laughed because she celebrated her son’s
birth, but there must have been the laughter
of thankfulness for what the Lord had done.