Ms. Stephanie this past week had Genesis 21: 1-21. In this story Abraham and Sarah, finally have Isaac, as God promised. It was a long time coming but God remained faithful and fulfilled His promise to bring them a son of their own. The birth of Isaac brought great joy and mirth to Abraham and Sarah, but there was a problem.
Sarah pushed Abraham to conceive a child with her slave and now the holy seed faced competition in Sarah’s eyes. Sarah asked Abraham to kick Hagar and Ishmael out of the home because she could not stand having them around. Abraham had been raising Ishmael as his son for years at this point, so he is none to pleased with Sarah changing her mind and wanting them gone.
In response, God makes good on His promises and takes care of Hagar and Ishmael. Ishmael, much like his brother, is also the father of many nations. This made Abraham an even greater patriarch, responsible for Israel and the surrounding communities. Unfortunately, when humans decide to take matters into their own hands, against God’s plans, the consequences can have profound effects.
This is exactly what we have here:
- We see God make promises and follow through. God is great and it is wonderful He continues following through with His promises.
- God provides. We can trust God to secure our futures, but we have to trust God.
- When we take matters into our own hands, God’s plan still gets completed, but we often muddy the water considerably. Ishmael and Hagar, as products of Sarah not trusting God, have resulted in untold thousands of problems. Sometimes our mistakes are not so easily fixed. The consequences may last thousands of years, like in this case. We are saved through belief, but we may still suffer for our sins.
- God forgives, but there are often consequences that must still be met. It would be wonderful if our forgiveness also abrogated the necessity to pay in this life. Let this story be a demonstration that forgiveness does not erase the impact of our sins on the world and others.
This is a great story and one that has many lessons for us today. We cannot forget, God provides and is true. We do not need to take matters into our own hands, God’s grip and grasp is sufficient to carry us along. Thank you God for your patience. We need it more and more!