After Abram rescues Lot and refuses an award from the king of Sodom, the Lord appears to him in a vision saying, “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Then the Lord tells Abram once again that he will have numerous descendants. “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.”
The Lord puts Abram into a deep sleep and says to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.” And this is exactly what will happen. Abraham’s descendants will be slaves in Egypt for four hundred years. We will read about the four hundred years of enslavement during the Exodus Era.
Meanwhile, Sarai is growing impatient after waiting ten years and still no child. So she decides to assist God with His plan by having Abram sleep with Hagar, their servant that they likely picked up while in Egypt. However, Sarai’s plan does not go well.
When Hagar becomes pregnant, she treats Sarai with contempt. So Sarai deals harshly with Hagar. As a result, Hagar flees to the wilderness where the Angel of the Lord appears to her and instructs her to return to Sarai and submit to her. The Angel tells Hagar that she will have a son named Ishmael. “Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, ‘Have I also here seen Him who sees me?’” The Lord doesn’t immediately change Hagar’s situation. Therefore, she will have to trust that He will see her through it. And He will! Abram and Hagar have a son, and Abram names him Ishmael.
When Abram is ninety-nine and Sarai is ninety years old, God says to them, once again, that they will have descendants. Then He changes their names to Abraham and Sarah. The Lord makes a covenant with Abraham and his future descendants. He promises them the land in Canaan and says great nations and kings shall come from Abraham’s descendants. As a sign of this new covenant, the Lord has Abraham circumcise all males eight days and older “born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.”
In the Kingdom and Divided Kingdom Eras, we will meet kings from Abraham’s descendants, pointing us to the arrival of the Ultimate King, King Jesus! But before we get there… tomorrow, God destroys wicked Sodom and Gomorrah. Will Lot and his family survive? Keep reading to find out. (Genesis 15:1-17:27)