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Daily Devotional Genesis 21:1–7

According to the United Nations, about 350,000 babies are born each day. Even though the experience is commonplace, I vividly remember when each of our three children came into the world. If a contest was held for the most surprising birth in history, the virgin birth of Jesus would be the winner. But a close second might have been the birth of Isaac.

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”


God had promised Abraham that he would have numerous descendants. Yet, Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years without seeing that promise come true. God could have provided Abraham and Sarah with a son right away. But He had a purpose in the waiting. Abraham and Sarah had to learn to live in faith between God’s promise and its fulfillment.

The fulfillment did finally come. Three times the text emphasizes that God did just what He had promised (vv. 1–2). God was faithful to His word. The years of doubt and suspense had come to an end. God not only kept His promise, but He did it in a miraculous way. Sarah was 90 years old at the birth of Isaac!

In response to this miracle, Abraham was scrupulously obedient. He had the baby named “Isaac” and circumcised on the eighth day just as the Lord had commanded (vv. 3–4). Sarah responded by bursting out in poetry. “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me” (v. 6). Sarah’s laughter of unbelief has changed into the laughter of joy (Gen. 18:12). Or as the Psalmist put it, “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5).

God has made big promises not only to Abraham and Sarah but also to us: Jesus will return and one day sin and sorrow and sickness will end. We are called to live in faith that God will be faithful to His promises.

Go Deeper

What was Sarah’s response to the birth of her son? Why do you think God made Abraham and Sarah wait so long to see His promise come true?

Pray with Us

The longest winter fades into spring. The darkest night gives way to morning. The pain of childbirth ends in the joy of motherhood. These patterns remind us that the struggle of this life will end in eternity with You.

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