Wednesday, February 3, 2016

God's Promise


Genesis 21
1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.
5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. Sarah named him Isaac, which means "Laughter", as the angels of the Lord had instructed, because she laughed at the thought of having a child at her age. Abraham, too, did as God commanded, bringing Isaac into the covenant when he was eight days old by circumcision.

8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

On the day that Isaac was weaned, Abraham celebrated with a great feast. Every facet of Isaac's life was worthy of celebration in Abraham's eyes; because each day when he looked upon his son, Isaac, he was reminded of God's power, and His grace, and His promises. The sight of his son, Isaac, gave him even more faith and love for God because Isaac was the product of God's blessing on him.

Ishmael, being fourteen years old, I am sure was jealous. After all, HE was the first born. To see all of the attention placed upon Isaac would lead up to no good end. Cain's sin would inevitably catch up to Ishmael if something wasn't done to stop it. For now, though, Ishmael mocked the whole fiasco.

9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.

Sarah, being the good mother that she was, sought to protect her son, Isaac, and his future. When she became afraid that Ishmael would come between Isaac and the future that Abraham had to offer him, she demanded that Abraham get rid of Ishmael.

Abraham was a good father. He loved both of his sons. He wanted to do right by both of them -- but he knew that God had plans for Ishmael, too. And God had already proved His ability to keep His promises through Isaac.

12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

God assured Abraham that Ishmael would be blessed; but, Isaac was who the promises belonged to.

14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

So, Abraham provided food and water for Hagar and Ishmael, and sent them away.

Can you imagine how Ishmael must have felt? I'm sure, as the child he still was, just growing into manhood, he felt that his father had somehow rejected him. I'm sure, looking at the world today, that his resentment was vengeful and grievous. But, he said nothing.

Hagar traveled in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.
17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

After days of travelling, they ran out of food and water. Ishmael was weak from travelling, thirst and hunger. She helped him lie down under a shrub in the shade, to protect him from the heat, and walked away from him a little ways, but not out of sight.

She, being tired, thirsty, hungry and alone, sat down and cried to the only one left to cry to, pleading, "Please, don't let me, his mother, see him die."

I can only assume that Ishmael heard his mother, and he, too, began to cry. Abraham had been a good father. He taught his son to pray; and, God heard them.

"Hagar, why are you crying? I hear your son praying, and I am going to make him a great nation. If you had faith in me, you would understand that I can't do that if he dies. Now, get up, and go get your son."

19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.
20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.
21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

She lifted her eyes and saw a well of water off in the distance -- so desperately needed at that moment.

God is the great provider. What He promises, He will make come to pass. We must trust Him, and trust that no matter where we are, or what we are going through at any given moment, God is in control.

I need to remind you that the Muslims today are descended from Ishmael. The fighting in the Middle East is a direct result of Ishmael's departure from Abraham. The education about God and His grace and mercy was stopped when Ishmael was sent away.

Ishmael learned about God from what he already knew: that God was a God of vengence (as Abraham told him about how God helped him rescue Lot in the war); and, God was a God of war, and destruction of all who oppose his laws (as Abraham told him about Soddom and Gomorrah).

This is how Ishmael grew to view the God of Abraham, and he taught his children accordingly.

Today, Ishmael is still fighting for his birthright. It is up to us to teach him that God still loves him, and that his birthright is much greater than a piece of land. Jesus died for his children, too.

Ishmael became an archer, and he married an Egyptian woman. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, between Egypt and Israel.


  1. God did not let Ishmael perish in the desert because in his infinite wisdom he knew their would be those form his line to receive him..Prayers for all muslims to repent and receive Jesus. May we be the light and salt where ever we are..