Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Brian Russell is a colleague who teaches Old Testament at Asbury Seminary in Florida. In this article he draws important lessons about family calamities and the ability of God to turn them around. Below is his summary (read the entire article at the accompanying link):
Privilege, Power, and the Mission of God (Genesis 21)
by Brian Russell, 1/11/15.
God’s mission moves forward by his grace. God makes and keeps promises. God overcomes broken family relationships, ill intentions, and even human infertility to advance the family through whom the nations will be blessed (Gen. 12:3b). God’s people grow from a childless couple to a substantial presence in Egypt. God reverses cultural bias toward the firstborn to advance his kingdom. Genesis 3–11 demonstrates humanity’s inability to find its own way and its penchant for spectacular failure. The stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob point to a new hope. This hope finds its roots in God’s faithfulness and commitment to his people. The themes of childlessness and the flipping of the privileged role of firstborn serve to proclaim this.
Read more at … http://seedbed.com/feed/privilege-power-mission-god/