【Bible Study】Genesis 21: Inherit The Divine Promise of God

Pastor Samuel Sharing

Brother William Sharing

Bible Study: Genesis


Today, we are looking at Genesis Chapter 21. This chapter is talking about inheriting the divine promise of God. Before we start, let's look at how Isaac was born through a miracle. Every time we talk about miracles, we are talking about healing the sick, cleansing lepers, and casting out demons, do what Jesus did. There are a lot of people who classify us as charismatic when we do what Jesus did. I don't understand why people call it charismatic. But it doesn't matter because all I want is to gain access to the promise of God and the power of Almighty God. Every time I see a person falling sick, I have a strong desire to let this person experience the power of Almighty God, not just say some comforting words.

God's promise to Abraham

Let’s look at Genesis Chapter 21 which talks about inheriting the divine promise of God. There were two kids in this chapter: Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael was born through an ordinary approach and Isaac was born through a miracle. At the time, Abraham and Sarah were already advanced in age, Sarah was past the age of childbearing, but God made it happen. Ishmael was born to a slave woman Hagar and Isaac was born to Sarah who was a free woman. This tells us something about whether we are going by the ordinary approach or extraordinary way - the path of the promise of Almighty God. In fact, both approaches carry different characteristics.

The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring. (Genesis 21:8-13)

Ishmael was not born by the promise of God, he was born through a trial and error approach. Abraham was trying to deliver the promise of God because God had promised Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore, but Abrahams tried in an ordinary approach. Isaac however, was born through the miracle of Almighty God.

But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. (Genesis 21:12)

This part revealed some underlying spiritual principles. The spiritual principle is that Christianity is about miracles and the promise of God. Let me tell you if someone has a belief in God, will the miracle follow this person? The answer is yes! Miracles follow a person like Abraham and everyone who dealt with Abraham. They could see God was with Abraham, somehow invisible but visible. The same thing to Isaac, people could see God was with him and God blessed everything Isaac did.

Gaining access to the promise of God

Do you want to be an ordinary or extraordinary person? Extraordinary means it goes beyond ordinary. If you want to be a man with signs and wonders, the power of Almighty God will be with you. With this kind of thinking and the spiritual principle revealed in Genesis Chapter 21, we should pursue to gain access to the promise of Almighty God. When facing people who are suffering poverty, sickness, financial issues, and problems in the workplace, what would you do? Do you want to bring the power of Almighty God to the person and let him or her experience the miracles of Almighty God?

Every time I face this kind of situation, I dream about the miracles coming upon and things will be changed by the power of Almighty God. I liked to do good deeds in the early days when I saw a person who was suffering from poverty. I was hoping that I could donate some money to the person. But later on, I realized that would not resolve any problems because poverty is like a black hole and no matter how much money you give, it would never fill up the hole. Every time the person gets the money, he or she would get into further trouble, and the person had to use the money to resolve the problem. This is called a curse.

What does our Lord Jesus Christ do for us? Jesus wanted to bring us out of the curse. When I face a person who is suffering from sickness, I have a strong desire to gain access to the promise of Almighty God. Born by the promise of God carried the characteristic of Isaac and born through the ordinary approach carried the characteristic of Ishmael. Ishmael was also the son of Abraham, but it was not reckoned based on a promise. Hence, gaining access to the promises became a very important topic in the New Testament. Belief and faith will be the keys to gaining access to the promise of Almighty God. Abraham was a classic example for us to follow. A lot of Christians deny the promise of Almighty God, although they talk about the promise of Almighty God verbally, in fact, they can't deliver and cause many problems. If we turn to the Gospel of Mark Chapter 16:

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16:17-18)

If we go back to the Bible, these were the miracles, signs and wonders throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. And if we take out the signs and wonders of the Bible, the Bible will be left with only cover and the bottom. Anyone who has gained access to the promise of God, anyone who has walked with God, and anyone who has had the presence of the Almighty God. He or she will surely have God’s signs and wonders following him or her. Do you want to be a person who has signs and wonders following you? Then you’d better be a person like Abraham, a man of faith.

Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba. (Genesis 21:14)

Hagar saw God as to how she experienced it many years ago. Before Ishmael was born, Hagar had relationship problems with her master Sarah, because she was mistreated and ran away from Sarah. And this time, she was in a similar situation and lost her hope.

Hargar's slave logic

But this time she had a boy with him and the water ran out. A slave woman, no matter how many times she had experienced God, there was a slavery heart inside. The belief or the logic is called slave logic. This time she did not know how to call out to the Lord. That was why she couldn’t gain access to the promise of Almighty God.

God heard the boy crying was not because the boy prayed to the Lord or Hagar prayed to the Lord. It was only because this boy was the son of Abraham. That was called second-hand. For example, if you don’t have a relationship with Abraham, you can still gain access to the promise of Almighty God. But it is not first-hand, it is second-hand. That is why anyone who comes to me and wants to gain access to the promise of God through me. They will ask: “can you pray for me?” I will say: “yes, I can pray for you.” But if you come to me, then it is second-hand. If you go directly to the Lord, it is firsthand. I hope every one of us gets that first hand.

Sometimes I will joke with them: “are you a grandson or son in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Of course, this is only a joke. There is no grandson in the Kingdom of Heaven, everybody is the son or daughter of Almighty God. It is very Biblical.

In this chapter, God appeared to Ishmael and Hagar, helped them, and blessed them. It looks like they could still gain access to the promise of God. But it was second-hand because that was through Abraham. If you want to get first hand, you should have the same faith as Abraham.

So in our church, I hope everyone is the son of Almighty God, everyone can gain access to the promise of Almighty God, not just through me. I hope you were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or Joseph so that God will be with you. Did you see the value of that?

Yes, Ishmael was the son of Abraham. But to God, he was not born by promise. He did not know how to gain access to the promise of Almighty God. He didn’t have faith in God. He got the blessing only because he was connected with Abraham. The same thing happened to Lot, Abraham’s nephew. The previous chapter talked about Abraham’s nephew. He lost his destiny and lost everything. God saved his family before overthrowing Sodom and Gomorrah. Only because God remembered Lot was the nephew of Abraham. That was second-hand. For me, I want the first hand and want to be a son of my God. I don’t want to get a second hand and be a grandson of God. Yes, I still pray for people and they get the blessing from Almighty God. But that is not my intention. I hope every one of us can gain access to the promise of Almighty God.

If you inherit the divine promise, you will inherit the divine power. Isacc was incomparable. Let me tell you why. In the following chapter, Isaac offered himself to God without any hesitation. Isaac knew he was born by promise. When his father offered him as a sacrifice to Almighty God. Isaac agreed and listened to his father. But if the same thing happened to Ishmael, I'm not so sure whether Ishmael would be that obedient. As we know, when Isaac grew up and then was weaned, Ishmael was about 16 years old. He was supposed to know something about Abraham. But did he inherit the same belief from Abraham? Probably he was mostly influenced by his mother, Hagar, who carried a mentality of a slave.

Abimelek’s Treaty with Abraham

There are so many Christians who carry a similar mentality of a slave. Will God help you? Yes, God does help you. But it is not because of your faith. For example, the king of Abimelek looked at Abraham and wanted to sign a treaty with him. That was not a covenant. A covenant carries a divine meaning. Why did he want to sign a treaty with Abraham? Because Abimelek knew that Abraham was with God, and everything he did was blessed by God. Abraham had divine power. If you were to be Abimelek, what would you do? Do you want to sign a treaty with Abraham? No, don’t do that. Go and make a covenant with God. God is looking for more Abrahams, not just one. If you were Abraham, God would sign a covenant with you. If you were Isaac, Jacob, or Joseph, God would sign a covenant with you. God wants you to be a son of Almighty God. God does not want you to take a second-hand promise.

Of course, the second-hand promise does experience God, but that is not the intention of Almighty God. God is looking for people like Abraham, Joseph, or Jacob. When the king of Abimelek looked at Abraham and saw God was with him. Did he ever think like this: I also want to be with God. I want to be like Abraham. Abimelek did not think like that. He just thought: “Oh, I am not Abraham.” The same thing happens to many Christian today. They always say: oh I'm not the apostle Paul, I'm not Abraham, etc. They don't want to be like Abraham, they just want to be like Abimelech who got a second-hand blessing. It sounds very silly.

Every time I perform a miracle, I hope the person will change, their mind will be changed. I hope they will have the same eagerness for the Lord. I hope they want to do the same thing and gain access to the divine power of Almighty God. I cast out demons, I heal the sick, but they do not want to gain access to the promise of Almighty God. They don’t want to be Abraham who had the destiny. They just want to be in church and be blessed through me. In my eyes, they are the grandchildren, they are not the sons of Almighty God. They are Ishmael, they are Hagar, they are Abimelek. I always wonder why people are so silly.

One day I prayed for a person, a fishbone stuck in his throat. I prayed and the fishbone was gone. Then another day another man came to me, a fishbone stuck in his throat, I prayed and the fishbone was gone. The same thing happened many times. But when I look at all these people, to be honest, I have a little bit of sorrow in my heart. Few of them responded in the way: Oh, thank you, Pastor. I also want to be this kind of person. I want to follow in your footsteps. I also want to get exact power, the divine power of Almighty God. I want to be like you. I want to be like Abraham. I want to have the presence of God. I want people to see that God is with me in everything I do.

No! They are still very calculating and stingy. They still look like fools. Sometimes I will say in my heart: idiot! This doesn't sound good, I know, but it is. How many people have seen what I have done? A lot.

There was one evangelical church member that did not speak in tongues. It's the kind of Christian when they pray, they put their hands together, and remain quiet. And I was sitting next to him. He was telling me: "Pastor, my eyes will go blind within a year". I said: "Oh my God!" I then said: "put your hands on your eyes and I will pray for you." I told him that every time I prayed for someone with an eye-related problem, they would be healed. Was I bluffing? Probably yes, probably not! But really, I hoped the person with eye problems would recover.

For his age, not that old, it would be tragic if his eyes went blind. But the pastor did nothing for him! So I asked him to lay his hands on his eyes, and I prayed for him. He said it was still the same as if seeing haze in front of him. It was either 5.00 diopter or even 10.0 myopia. It felt like a thick layer of fog enveloped his eyes. Hence, I prayed once, twice, three times, and another time. Every time I prayed, it lasted about one minute. Eventually, he started to see things clearer. The problem was not the healing, it was after the healing.

Three months later, he told me that the doctor confirmed his eyesight had gone back to normal. The problem had completely gone. But what I want to tell you is that he was Abimelek. Actually, he was not Abimelek as he never said:'' Pastor, can we sign a treaty?" Not at all! As if nothing had happened. It's nothing unusual for me to face this kind of outcome. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, they were all healed. Yet, probably less than 10% of them wanted to follow Jesus Christ. The turnout is extremely low, probably only about 5%.

Abimelek was an amazing person, seeing that Abraham had God with him and he did not want to have God with him. Abimelek didn’t want God to be with him, the same to Ishmael and Hagar. They all had a slave mentality. They did not know that it was very simple to be Abraham. You did not need to pay, you did not need to do great things for God because God doesn't want you to do a great thing for him. But He wants you to do great things for yourself. It's just his faith, his belief, and the signs and wonders that would follow. God's presence will be with you! And you will gain access to the promise of Almighty God. No matter how many problems there are, God has in Christ for us, no matter how many promises, God has in Christ for us! In Christ, are all yes. The typical spiritual term or religious term is called Amen! Amen! Amen!Amen!

Be a man of faith and wisdom

Do you want miracles? Yes. The miracle comes true to faith! Do we want the signs and wonders? Signs and wonders come true to faith! Abraham and Sarah are the man and the woman of faith. It's not difficult at all. I have performed so many miracles. Today, it’s encouraging as we have some people alongside me who want to serve the Lord in the same way. If you want to be an ordinary man, then you can be Ishmael. If you want to be a man who has a covenant with God, has the presence of God, and has the promise of Almighty God, then you’d better not be an ordinary man. Ordinary, just a normal person in the crowd, nobody will notice you and nobody will know you are someone special. You are just one of those who somehow come to this world and somehow will disappear.

Do you want to be that kind of person? No! I watch those people come and go. He was then lying in a coffin, having a little windowpane where you can see the dead body. When I look at the dead, it wakes me up. It wakes my mind up. What shall I pursue? I should pursue eternal life, pursue the divine promise of Almighty God. I don't want to be an ordinary man! I want a man with God’s presence, God’s signs and wonders are with me. I want to be a blessing for many people.

Abimelek signed a treaty and two men swore. It's useless! How useful could that be? Do you know what would happen? After 400 years, Moses and Joshua invaded the place, took over the place, killed a lot of them. Many of them were the descendants of Abimelek.

If you want to take a second-hand promise of Almighty God, you will be Abimelek. Though you have sworn, it is still useless. Why do such useless things? Can’t we do something more useful? So do you want to be Isaac or do you want to be Ishmael? Do you want to be born by the promise or by the ordinary approach? Do you want to be born in the Holy Spirit which they called reborn, or born again Christian? Do you want to be born by the power of Almighty God? Do you want to be Abraham or do you want to be Abimelek? Do you want to live by miracle or normal approach?

There is only one thing. The thing determines our mind, our logic, and how we live this life. It is only 70 or 80 years that you live your life. But you probably are Ishmael, Abimelek, Hagar, or even Phicol, the king at that time. But what I use for that cannot gain access to the promise.

Pursuing the faith of Abraham is the way!

If you look at the world today, it will be getting messier, more and more problematic. Trust me. In the coming 20 or 30 years, you and I will experience tough times. No matter how tough it is, if God is with us, the signs and wonders are with us, the miracle follows us. What do we need to be afraid of? Nothing! Nothing needs to be afraid of because we have miracles.

Some people may say I pursue miracles. No! I pursue faith! I am a person who practices the faith of Abraham. That's why the miracles follow. And they say I am the guy who pursues miracles which is not the gospel at all. These people thought I was a cult, an extremist. But I fought back. I said: “In that case, why don’t you pursue a miracle and show it to me?”

I pursue the faith of Abraham. Why? My home is not on earth at all. My hope is not on my job, not the money, not the bank account numbers. Not at all! But am I short of that? No! because I have the promise of Almighty God and anyone close to me will see signs and wonders daily. They are part of my daily life. Who do you want to be? That's the question! Who do you want to be? Do you want to be Abraham? You’d better restore the destiny, the plan God has in you. You live for God! you die for God! You live for Jesus Christ! You die for Jesus Christ! If you have that kind of mentality, you know how to live your life, then you will be able to gain access to the rich promises that God has in us, God has in Christ. Amen!

I wish everyone to be Abraham, Isaac of this day!

May the Lord bless you!


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