Isaac – Genesis 17-18 & 21 – Bible Study Notes

Context: Genesis 16:1-18:15 & 21:1-26:5

New series on miracle births in the Bible (Jesus wasn’t the only one). In each case we see God’s kindness to the people involved and also his kindness to all people, as each child is born for a particular purpose in God’s big plan for the world.

1. Who was Abraham?

He was chosen by God to lead his people.

2. Why does God promise Isaac?

God made promises to Abraham. Kings shall come from Sarah.

3. Are you surprised by Abraham and Sarah’s response?

Both laughed. She thought it was impossible so the laughter is understandable. She shouldn’t have denied it though.

4. Do you think we can be tempted to doubt God’s promises?

Possibly. Different culture now to that of OT.

5. Are there situations we face today where we need to be reminded of God’s plan for the world?

Time of suffering. We live in a broken world and need to be reminded of the gospel and the promise that God will make things right again.

6. What do we see of God’s character through this story?

He keeps his promises. He provides the sacrifice so we (and Abraham) don’t have to.

7. How is the birth of Isaac similar to that of Jesus? How is it different?

Sarah thought it wasn’t possible. Mary didn’t understand either at first. Both births seemed impossible.

8. How do we see a picture of Jesus from what happens in chapter 22?

Abraham was told to offer Isaac (who was in his early thirties) as a sacrifice. He was told to go to a mountain called Moriah. Years later that same mountain was known as Golgotha, the place where God sacrificed his only son. God stopped Abraham at the last minute and provided another sacrifice, a ram with its head caught in thorns. Jesus is depicted in Revelation as the ram with seven horns, signifying strength. At the same spot another young man (also in his early thirties) was sacrificed with his head caught in thorns. A picture of Jesus.

9. How does Jesus show he’s greater than Isaac?

He paid the ultimate price and was sacrificed. Only he could satisfy God’s wrath. Only he can save people.

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