THE TRUTH IS — ISHMAEL is a very intriguing bible character. Gal. 4:22–31. The subject of COVENANTS (contracts) is deeply involved herein. One is free and the other in bondage. It is clear we are not of this bondage, but of the Family of ISAAC, was God’s PROMISE made. Just being the “seed” of Abraham does not prove you are a Child of God – Rom. 9:7-8. God’s Children are “PROMISED.” Rom. 9:9. Gen. 10:21—32 – is the background history, and so Gen. 11:14—-30 is still further proof of “Promise.” Gen. 12:2-3 – is the beginning of the “Promise,” that, even in the old age of Abraham and Sarah they would still have a Son genetically. So A & S did not believe the “Promise” and Abram decided to make his steward his heir – Gen. 15:1–5 – but God told Abraham to look up and count the stars in the sky, so shall thy seed be. Yet, A & S still did not believe, and tried to “help God keep His Promise” in Gen. 16:1—12. Abram laughed at the Promise – Gen. 17:17 and so did Sarah in – Gen. 18:12. Yet, at the “set time” Sarah had Isaac, the Promised Seed – Gen. 21:1-7. Now read – Gen. 21:4—21. So God, can, but does not always employ “common laws of science and nature” to establish His Divine Rights, Choices, Will, Pleasure, Purposes, etc. These are just a few of such examples.
One can see Elder Hulan Bass’ mini-commentaries at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pb-mb/