a. THE DIVISION OF THE INHERITANCE. The text says very simply that Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac but, while he was still alive, he gave gifts to his other children. Yet, the other children were not allowed to stay near Isaac. Abraham sends them away to the East. Remember the love that Abraham had for Ishmael and no doubt he loved his other sons as well. But they were not in the will. They would not receive any inheritance. They got some good gifts but in the end the estate and the covenant promises went to Isaac alone. b. BUT IT’S NOT FAIR. It is not equitable, that’s true. Abraham does not treat all of his sons the same way. A clear distinction has been made between Isaac and the rest of his siblings. If we removed this from its biblical context most people would say that this was unfair. It’s not right to favor one child over another like that. Even if we bring it back into the Bible in a different context, say, Jacob’s favoring of Joseph, we see the trouble his favoritism causes and we say that it was wrong for Jacob to favor Joseph. But, why is it when we go to this story we do not make the same case? Why don’t we say it was wrong for Abraham to completely leave his firstborn and his other six sons out of the inheritance? Why don’t we call foul on this play? I think it is because, in this case, God has made the choice. Remember if the choice of who to favor was up to Abraham he made the choice of Ishmael. But, God made the choice of Isaac. When Ishmael was mocking Isaac Sarah correctly pointed out the words of God to Abraham saying that this boy will not share in the inheritance. God has spoken. God has chosen one and not the other. The question is: why? What reason is there to choose Isaac over Ishmael? Why choose Isaac over Midian? Why choose Jacob over Esau? Why choose David over his older brothers? Why choose Mary and Joseph over other godly couples? Why choose you and not the countless that have died in their sin today? The answer is simply: the free grace of God. We call it free not because it didn’t cost anything, because it cost Jesus Christ his life, but because it is not bound by anything but God’s own pleasure and will. Look at the book of Hosea. The people are unfaithful, they have cheated on God and left him behind. There is no earthly reason to deal with them anymore and yet God says I will have mercy. What? Why? As God said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy.” It’s his prerogative. It’s his choice. You don’t earn grace and there is nothing about you or what you have done that deserves grace. Why was Isaac the heir of the promises and recipient of all the inheritance? Because God chose him.