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Your Son Too

Your Son Too

08 January 2011

Today’s Reading: Genesis 20-22; Luke 8

Scripture:

12 But God told Abraham, “Do not be upset over the boy and your servant. Do whatever Sarah tells you, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted. 13 But I will also make a nation of the descendants of Hagar’s son because he is your son, too.” (Genesis 21:12-13 NLT)

After Isaac was born, his 13-year-older brother Ishmael didn’t like him much. Ishmael was used to the privilege he had as Abraham’s son and when it became clear Isaac was the favorite, tension mounted. Eventually, Sarah insisted that Abraham get rid of Hagar and Ishmael and this put Abraham in a tough spot. Both Sarah and Hagar were his wives and both Isaac and Ishmael were his sons.

Even though God had never intended the birth of Ishmael, God made a place in his blessing for Ishmael because he was Abraham’s son. There was grief and heartache then and there is grief and heartache now over the conflict between Isaac and Ishmael. But God blessed Hagar and Ishmael as well as Sarah and Isaac because Ishmael was Abraham’s son too.

When we take matters into our own hands and try to help God with his promises, we also can produce an Ishmael. The problem is that we may really care about our Ishmael even though it’s not God’s plan. Once we’ve created our Ishmael it may have a life of its own and we may simply have to live with the consequences which may include conflict with our Isaac, God’s promise fulfillment.

This story is a good lesson for me about choices and consequences, about conflict that comes with stepping outside or ahead of God’s plan, and especially about the grace and mercy of God.

Prayer:

Father, Thank you for your faithfulness, your grace, and your mercy. Help me to benefit from the lessons in today’s story of Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac. Thank you that even when we create an “Ishmael” and have to live with the consequences of our actions, you are gracious and merciful. I know you care about the things I care about. Help me to care more about the things you care about. Amen.

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