Once again the Lord appears to his chosen servant, Abraham. Their close relationship is signified through the sharing of a meal, at the end of which, God reinforces his covenant promise to Abraham and Sarah. And not only that, the Lord shares with them when His promise will be fulfilled. But Sarah doubts God’s Word, believing that His promise is impossible. And indeed with man it is. But with Almighty God, it is possible.
The covenant sign contributes as God confirms the promised son will come from Sarai. Laughter will follow Isaac, beginning with his very name, but Abraham trust against all doubt that God's promises are sure. God initiated as a promise and established as a covenant;now Abraham has responded obediently to mark his subservient relationship.
In this week's text we witness God confirming His covenant with Abram and expanding on the goodness and fullness of this covenant. We are also introduced to the sign of the covenant (circumcision) that will serve as an assurance of God's promised blessings down through the generations of Abram's descendents. Ultimately, we will see that there is no greater blessing or more gracious gift than to be counted among God's people.
In the book of Ruth we have an amazing story revealing the kindness of God and pointing to his redemptive work. Along the way we are provided with wonderful examples of a daughter honoring her mother and a mother caring for her daughter.
Having grown impatient, Sarai devises a plan to get an heir. Abram foolishly concedes and goes along with Sarai’s sinful plan, which brings about disastrous consequences. Together they selfishly grasped for what God had promised, trying to work God’s plan into their timing. Hagar, though treated mercilessly by Sarai, is seen by and provided for by the Lord. He sees her in her distress and gives her a promise.