21 Days - Genesis 17:19
One thing we are going to talk about a lot in these next three weeks is the fulfillment of prophecy through genealogy. You may have read the Bible and gone through a chapter just reading a list of names and wondering, why is this even important, this is so boring...Oh, better yet pay even closer attention! Genealogy is often placed in the Bible to prove Jesus is who He says He is. The genealogy fulfills prophecy! It shows the intentionality of God... the importance of one single human life, of your human life. Someone who was terrified of public speaking and shepherded sheep until he was in his eighties, was used in this divine lineage. A prostitute. A murderer. Someone who was sold off to slavery by his brothers as a teenager. An adulterer. And better yet, the lineage is full of your-average-joe's. Because God doesn't see the outward appearance. God doesn't view you how you think the world may view you. And He certainly doesn't care much about your representation. He cares about the heart.
You may wonder what the purpose of your life is. You may wonder why you're living where you are, why you're in the job you're in, or why on earth is a certain thing happening in your life? Take heart because God is with you. God sees you. God knows you. And He has a plan. Lineage just proves that we serve a God who is the Great Planner and better yet, He is always comes through and is consistently on time.
"Then God said, 'Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him'" (Genesis 17:19)
Let me talk a bit about what's going on in Genesis 17. At this time, Abram is 99-years old. Yep! This dude has probably got some nice white hair by now, he's definitely experienced life. And he's still married to Sarai, who throughout their whole marriage, has been barren, unable to conceive a child. Some of us yearn to have children some day but I want to give a little context. Back in this day, your children were your reputation. You having a million and one children might as well name you wealthy. For them, reputation laid heavily in your land, children, cattle, how many servants you had, and especially in having your name past down through generations. This is why many people wanted a son of their own so badly! Not because daughters aren't awesome, but because it was all about caring that strong name down through generations.
So, Abram is 99. This is 5 chapters after God told him that "all peoples on earth would be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:3) and now God is explaining what He meant. He's saying, Abram, matter of fact right now I'm going to change your name to Abraham, which means Father of Multitude. And God continues to speak, to this 99-year old man with a barren wife saying, "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God" (Genesis 17:7).
Can you imagine what Abraham must be thinking? God goes on to say, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child? ” (Genesis 17:15-17)
Have you ever had a moment like that? Where you have experienced life and have named something permanent to never change before you? Perhaps it's depression, divorce throughout family generations, perhaps you have a hard time making friends. And God is saying not only will you receive this thing you thought you were cursed by, you will bless millions of people by receiving this gift! Just place yourself in Abraham's shoes. You're 100. Your wife is 90. And God is telling you you'll have a child together. Abraham literally laughed at God.
But let's look at Genesis 17:19 and focus on this verse: "Then God said, 'Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him'" (Genesis 17:19). "He names that child Isaac (which means) laughter, because Abraham rejoiced in spirit when this son was promised him. Note, If God's promises be our joy, his mercies promised shall in due time be our exceeding joy. Christ will be laughter to those that look for Him; those that now rejoice in hope shall shortly rejoice in having that which they hope for: this is laughter that is not mad. He entails the covenant upon that child: I will establish my covenant with him. Note, God takes whom he pleases into covenant with himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." -Matthew Henry
And here's the fulfillment as written in the New Testament after Jesus's resurrection and ministry here on earth:
"Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, 'It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned'” (Romans 9:7).
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
1) What is one thing in your life you would desperately like to have (happiness, a child, a dream career, etc.) yet you have told yourself it would never happen due to things you have experienced presently or in the past?
2) When is one time God took you by surprise your only response was awe-struck joy, perhaps laughter?
3) Pray to God and ask Him to help you to believe in His promises. Ask Him to reveal the Truth in character of His son Jesus within you this Christmas season.