After the episode at Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham journeyed toward the Negev. As with Pharaoh, fearing the king would take Sarah and kill Abraham, he tried, once again, this time to Abimelech king of Gerar, to present Sarah as his sister rather than his wife. His reasoning? “There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife” (20:11). Abraham seems not yet a man of full faith, trusting God in all things. God, though, is about to demonstrate his faithfulness: The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him” (21:1-2; emphases mine).
Of course, Sarah conceived! Of course, she bore a son! God had said. God had promised. God had spoken. Abraham finally seems to get it as the story of the offering of Isaac unfolds. Looking to the mountain, Abraham said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you” (22:5; again, emphasis mine). Abraham fully expected Isaac to live and to return with him. To Isaac, Abraham declared, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son” (22:8). Ah! Finally, fully trusting God and his promises! What a sweet way to live life! And, so, we sing:
The great I AM has sworn;
I on this oath depend.
I shall, on eagle wings upborne,
to heaven ascend.
I shall behold God's face;
I shall God's power adore,
and sing the wonders of God's grace
forevermore. –“The God of Abraham Praise” (Daniel ben Judah, 14th century)