He obtained the promise - Isaac was supernaturally born; and in his birth God began to fulfill the promise: while he lived, he saw a provision made for the multiplication of his seed; and, having continued steadfast in the faith, he received the end of all the promises in the enjoyment of an eternal glory. And the inference from this is: If we believe and prove faithful unto death, we shall also inherit the promises; and this is what is implied in the apostle's exhortation, Hebrews 6:12; : Be not slothful, but followers of them, etc.
And so, after he had patiently endured - After he had waited for a long time. He did not faint or grow weary, but he persevered in a confident expectation of the fulfillment of what God had so solemnly promised.
He obtained the promise - Evidently the promise referred to in the oath - that he would have a numerous posterity. The apostle intimates that he had waited for that a long time; that his faith did not waver, and that in due season the object of his wishes was granted. To see the force of this, we are to remember:
(1)that when he was called by God from Haran, and when the promise of a numerous posterity was made to him, he was seventy-five years old; Genesis 12:1-5.
(2)Twenty-four years elapsed after this, during which he was a sojourner in a strange land, before the manner in which this promise would be fulfilled was made known to him; Genesis 21:1-5.
(4)The birth of that son was a pledge that the other blessings implied in the promise would be granted, and in that pledge Abraham may be said to have “received the promise.”
He did not actually see the numerous posterity of which he was to be the honored ancestor, nor the Messiah who was to descend from him, nor the happy influences which would result to mankind from the fulfillment of the promise. But he saw the certainty that all this would occur; he saw by faith the Messiah in the distance John 8:56, and the numerous blessings which would result from his coming. It was a remarkable instance of faith, and one well suited to the purpose of the apostle. It would furnish ample encouragement to the Christians to whom he wrote, to persevere in their course, and to avoid the dangers of apostasy. If Abraham persevered when “appearances” were so much against the fulfillment of what had been promised, then Christians should persevere under the clearer light and with the more distinct promises of the gospel.