I Will Come, You Shall Have A Son
“For this is a word of promise: ‘At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.’ ” Romans 9:9 (NAS)
As the Holy Spirit moved Paul to manifest the superiority of faith versus law, another principle is revealed in our chosen text for the edification, encouragement and equipping of the saints-the promises of God. We’ve considered other passages in previous installments regarding the promises of God and it seems good to be reminded of these things again in this new year, because, to borrow from a Biblical principle, it is no trouble to write of the same things again, and it’s a safeguard for you (Phil. 3:1). It also allows us to build upon last week’s article concerning one of the themes in the Bible, which is the promised progeny (the seed) to come, the Christ.
The foreshadowed wife, Sarah, shall have a son
The apostle Paul, as he was moved by the Holy Spirit to point out the true seed of Abraham, the children of the promise, quotes from Genesis 18:10, “And He said, ‘I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him.” (NAS)
The early chapters of the book of Genesis recounts four key events. Creation, Castigation (of Adam and Eve from the garden), Conflagration (the flood), and Confusion of the people’s communication leading to a circulation of the human race by groups now bound together by a common language, settling in the lands throughout the world.
Following these events, the call of Abraham is the next central theme. Key to this call is the promise to make of Abraham a great nation (Gen. 12:2a)and the father of a multitude of nations through Sarah (Gen. 17:5, 16), who would be a “mother of nations”, and “kings of peoples shall come from her”. This would necessitate that “Sarah shall have a son”.
We know the rest of the story, right? Sarah was barren and it was going to take the intercession of the LORD to bring about this promised progeny since she and Abraham were past the age of childbearing. So, in a theophany (an appearance in the flesh), the LORD shows up with two angels to Abraham and Sarah by the oaks of Mamre. While eating they ask where Sarah is and after Abraham answers that she is in the tent near where they are seated and eating, The LORD then makes His statement as recorded in Genesis 18:10 concerning Sarah having a son.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Sarah had never previously heard these words herself spoken from the LORD concerning the promised son prior to this incident. Sarah laughs to herself, the LORD heard her skeptical laugh and reaffirms that He will do as He said, noting, “is anything to difficult for the LORD?” (Gen. 18:14). Yahweh then restates once more the promise of Sarah having a son. This incident is a fulfillment of previous promises made to Abraham when the LORD reaffirmed His covenant with him and his descendents as recorded in Genesis 17, a very short time prior to the events of Genesis 18. The following year, the prophetic promises are fulfilled with the birth of Isaac. From there, God’s eternal plan rolls on through the seed of Isaac.
The spiritual wife, the church, shall be given a Son
The nation Israel, as the physical descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, continued to serve as God’s chosen partner, his bride, in the execution of His plan and eternal purpose. The nation of Israel was to produce godly seed, set apart for His purposes, as examples to the world. The plan is to culminate in the ultimate manifestation of Himself to the world in the flesh as the prophesied Messiah, the seed of God.
With the birth, manifestation, and presentation of Jesus Christ in the flesh to the nation as the “son of God”, one of the prophetic promises concerning this prophesied progeny, a child born (Isa. 9:6), was fulfilled. However, Israel rejected the latter more critical part of that promise in Isaiah 9:6 regarding Jesus being given to them as the Son. This occurred, according to prophetic declaration in Acts 13:33, in conjunction with Psalm 2, in Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to the throne in heaven. It is there that the government rests upon his shoulders, with “no end to the increase of His government or of peace.” This is the king of kings that was to unite nations and produce kings of peoples through the promise given to Sarah.
In Genesis 17, the LORD changed both Abram’s and Sarai’s name in reaffirming His covenant with Abram. Abram, (exalted father) becomes Abraham, “father of a multitude.” Sarai, princess, becomes Sarah, heroine princess, with the emphasis she will now bear a godly seed to the glory and purposes of God’s eternal plan.
We, unlike Sarah, are not ignorant of what the LORD has said through the prophets. In the prophesies of the new covenant was the promise He would give “Israel” a new name as His people, His bride (Isa. 62:1-5).That was to be the name Christian, of Christ, therefore, sons of God. As joint heirs with Christ who rule with Him, we are the spiritual fulfillment of the promised sons through Sarah. As His bride, having been given the indwelling Holy Spirit, we now are the ones called to finish the mission of making a great nation to the glory of God. Sarah was the type, the church is the substance. God gave us His Son so we can give Him many sons to His glory!