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Genesis 21:1-7

It's Worth the Wait

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Weekend Messages
  • August 13, 2017

While waiting for God to move in our lives, it’s easy to get impatient or feel discouraged. But God has preserved His Word for us so that hearts may rest in Him while waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled. We are going to study a passage that will show us why it is worth it to wait for the Lord to fulfill His Word.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

It’s Worth the Wait

Genesis 21:1-7 

Introduction

ILLUS – Some things are easy to wait for…

1. While waiting for God to move in our lives, it’s easy to get impatient or feel discouraged.

2. But God has preserved His Word for us so that hearts may rest in Him while waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

3. Today, we’re going to study a passage that will show us why it is worth it to wait for the Lord to fulfill His Word.

READ Genesis 21:1-7

I. God Hasn’t Forgotten You (1)

A. God is watching over you

1. It had been 24 years and three months of waiting on God’s promises before Sarah

conceived.

2. God had said on two separate occasions, just months before Sarah conceived, that she

would have a son the same time next year.

   a. First to Abraham in Genesis 17:21

   b. Then to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18:10

3. “Then the Lord took note of Sarah”

  a. “Took note” means “watch over” or to “care for”.

  b. “To help someone in a manner that shows concern” because they’re in a “difficult        circumstance”.

4. When this word is used in association with God, great change occurred in the lives of those He took note of.

Exodus 2:23-25, “Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.”

APPL – When waiting upon the Lord for a breakthrough, the silence and sense of divine inactivity can lead one to conclude that God has forgotten or is unwilling to act on our behalf. 

  • Nothing could be further from the truth!

Isaiah 49:14-16, “But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.’ ‘Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.’

  • Therefore, we must stand on God’s Word

Psalm 13:1-2, 5-6, “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? But I have trusted in Your loving kindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

B. God will make it good

1. “The Lord did for Sarah as He had promised”

   a. “Lord” – Yahweh, the covenant keeping God

   b. “did for Sarah” – God did only what He could do in fulfilling His sovereign purposes

Genesis 18:14, “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?”

   c. “as He had promised” – He kept His word in accordance with His name 

Number 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

2. Notice, the fulfillment of a 25-year-old promise is recorded in a couple of verses… why?

  a. Because it was God who promised.

  b. The outcome was never in question!

ILLUS – The testimony of former UW Husky, Greg Lewis

II. God’s Timing is Always Perfect (2)

A. God’s time is the right time, all the time

1. Sarah conceived and bore a son at “the

appointed time”

2. When it’s time for God to fulfill His promises,

watch and rejoice!

3 Sarah was 90 years old… no problem for God!

4. Abraham was 100 years old… even better!

5. It was the appointed time! The right time!

6. God keeps His sovereign appointments

  a. Jesus Christ came at the right time.

Romans 5:6, For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”

b. Jesus Christ will return at the appointed time.

Mark 13:33, “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time is.”

B. God is preparing us for the right time

1. God was waiting for Abraham and Sarah to be as good as dead!

  a. Notice how the Apostle Paul described them…

Romans 4:19-21, “And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.”

  b. Everyone who heard this story must conclude it was all God’s doing!

2. But God had to work on Sarah too!

  a. She had given her maid into Abraham’s arms.

b. When she heard the Lord say that she would have a child a year later she laughed and then lied about laughing when questioned!

3. We don’t know when, but there came a point when even Sarah believed God was able to give her a son.

Hebrews 11:11, “By faith even Sarah herself received the ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.”

4. God not only changes circumstances, He changes hearts too.

  a. He brings us to the end of ourselves so that we will not take credit for His work

  b. Then He hits us with a question that requires an answer, “Will you trust Me?”

APPL – When this question is answered by faith, that person will never be the same again. The outcome is no longer in question because the matter is settled in their heart.

Hudson Taylor, “Let us give up our work, our plans, ourselves, our lives, our loved ones, our influence, our all, right into God’s hand; and then, when we have given all over to Him, there will be nothing left for us to be troubled about.

III. God Will Never Disappoint You (3-7)

A. Abraham honored God with obedience

1. Abraham named his son “Isaac” (3)

  a. Not Terah, the name of his father.

  b. Definitely not Lot, his nephew’s name.

  c. Nor Abe Jr.

  d. As an expression of faith, Abraham obeyed God and called his son Isaac (“laughter”).

2. Then on the 8th day Abraham circumcised his son, Isaac, once again obeying God’s command so that Isaac would enjoy God’s covenant blessings (4).

3. Abraham had been waiting 25 years for his promised son (5).

  a. Once the promise was fulfilled he honored the One who made it possible.

  b. With great care Abraham followed God’s commands.

B. Sarah gave God the glory

1. “God has made laughter for me” (6)

  a. God did this!

  b. You can hear her heart rejoicing!

  c. Now people laughed with her not at her!

2. Not only did Sarah conceive (7)

  a. Sarah carried Isaac to term

  b. Sarah was also able to nurse Isaac

  c. “Who would have said” such a thing?

     i. Definitely not man!

     ii. Only God!

     iii. Why would we want it any other way?

Romans 10:11, “For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.’”

Conclusion

So, if Abraham and Sarah were with us now and we had the opportunity to ask them, “Was it worth the wait?”

What do you think they would say?

Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.”

Genesis 21:1-7   NASB 

1. Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. 2. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. 3. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. 4. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6. Sarah said, "God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me." 7. And she said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."


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