Three Candidates of Abraham’s Family
Abraham’s family consisted of three candidates with the potential to inherit Abraham’s estate: Eliezer, Ishmael and Isaac. However, Isaac received the family inheritance in the end. By knowing why Isaac was selected as Abraham’s heir, we can know how to become the heirs of God.
But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.”
At this time, Abraham did not have a son, so he planned to make his servant, Eliezer, his heir. God responded to Abraham telling him that he would instead have an heir coming from his own body. In other words, he would have a son of his own.
So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
Since Abraham’s wife, Sarah, could not have children and was well advanced in age, she recommended that Abraham have a child with her maidservant, Hagar. Abraham called his newborn son, Ishmael. Although Ishmael was Abraham’s son, he still did not become his heir. Through the birth of Abraham’s second son, Isaac, we can understand the reason.
And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.”