Scripture Reading: Genesis 16:4-16
Abraham’s following of “the rudiments of the world” (see yesterday’s devotional thoughts) brought confusion and division into his home. Worldliness often defeats and destroys the peace and joy that should come to the follower of Jesus Christ. It certainly did in Abraham’s case. The situation brought jealousy, anger, and fear into a home that should have been filled with God’s goodness. When the domestic conflicts became hard to bear, Hagar fled from Sarah, stopping by a fountain of water in the wilderness. The Lord spoke to her through an angel, telling her to return, and to submit to Sarah as the matriarch of the home. She was given assurance that she would have a son, and that her “seed” would be multiplied greatly. She was instructed to name the son, Ishmael, one of the few people in Scripture that were named directly by Divine providence. He also prophesied that the Ishmael would “be a wild man,” and that “his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him.” We will examine in future devotions the man Ishmael and his descendants. However, it should be noted here that prophecies made concerning Ishmael and his descendants are still seeing fulfillment to this very day.
Eleven years passed from the time that God promised Abraham that he would have a child, and the birth of Ishmael was not the fulfillment of that promise. Although the child that Hagar was carrying was not the promised “Seed,” both he and his mother were objects of God’s affection and care. She called Him, “Thou God seest me.” He is the God Who sees and cares for all. O, pray that people might turn to Him and find salvation and peace through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Pastor Steve Smith