Commentary and Reflection:
God made Sarah laugh, but later she cried because her plan to “help” God brought serious problems to the family. It was a very difficult time for everyone, but especially for Abraham because he had to say goodbye to his son. This could have broken up his marriage had it not God said to him:
“Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. 13 Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.” Genesis 21:12, 13.
A significant portion of Arabs are descendants of Ishmael. God gave, clearly and specifically, instructions to Abraham to preserve his marriage even at this high cost. The commentary in Patriarchs and Prophets is interesting and revealing,
“The instruction given to Abraham touching the sacredness of the marriage relation was to be a lesson for all ages. It declares that the rights and happiness of this relation are to be carefully guarded, even at a great sacrifice. Sarah was the only true wife of Abraham. Her rights as a wife and mother no other person was entitled to share. She reverenced her husband, and in this, she is presented in the New Testament as a worthy example. But she was unwilling that Abraham’s affections should be given to another, and the Lord did not reprove her for requiring the banishment of her rival.” PP 147
The account in chapter 22 is a revelation of the great offering of God in providing a sacrifice to save us all. It is also a lesson in true worship, that it should always be founded, totally and radically, on trust in God. That it is done, not out of convenience, but in obedience, not in comfort, but in sacrifice, not half an hour away by car, in air conditioning, but in a four days’ journey; not where I feel the most comfortable, but where God has instructed. The offering that I bring, however valuable it may be, is not mine, but it has been provided by God, and its climax and realization will always be made in the sacrifice that God Himself has provided. True Yahweh worship, in every temple and on every Sabbath, every day and in every private place, is always done “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
Praise God for His provision.