God repeats His promise of a son to Abram; Abram pleads with God on the basis of human limitations and desire for control: Can’t Ishmael be the one? God adds another form of confirmation for His promise—He changes Abram’s name (“exalted father”) to Abraham (“father of a multitude”). He blesses Sarai and changes her name to Sarah (same meaning but still a pronunciation change that reminds her of God’s promise). God adds certainty by setting a time; there will be no more waiting. Abraham’s plea for Ishmael is not in vain; the Lord will make a great nation of Ishmael and we do well to remember that when thinking about Middle Eastern people—of course all people are God’s special and particular creation, so we love and respect them all.