Sermon: “Cast Out the Slave Woman” (Genesis 21:1–21)
Our Enemy works tirelessly to chip away at our confidence in God’s faithfulness to keep his promises. Sometimes, Satan tempts us to believe that God’s promises are not really worth the wait. Other times, Satan tries to discourage us in the midst of conflict, pain, and strife. If Satan can lead us into despair, he can take our eyes of faith off of God’s faithfulness. Still other times, Satan works to sow seeds of dissatisfaction in our hearts. When we are dissatisfied, even God’s abundant provision seems meager and unsatisfying. No matter whether our circumstances are good, bad, or indifferent, Satan will use anything in his attempt to hijack our faith away from Christ.
The fact that our Enemy works so hard to confuse us about God’s faithfulness should clue us into its great significance. The last thing that Satan wants is for us to live in a constant sense of wonder and awe at the great works God is doing toward the fulfillment of his promises in, around, and through us. When we see God’s faithful hand guiding, directing, and protecting us, we learn to walk by faith through situations that seem impossible to endure from a human perspective. Indeed, God is bringing all things together for good to train, shape, and conform us into the image of his Son Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:28–29). Therefore, learning to recognize how God works is critical for our sanctification. In Genesis 21:1–21, we see the multifaceted nature of God’s sovereign grace toward us: God fulfills his promises.