Scripture Reading: Genesis 16:1-3; Proverbs 14:12; 16:25; Colossians 2:8,20
Paul warns believers not to be spoiled, or spiritually defeated, through the “traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world.” The word “rudiments” speaks of the propositions, elements or principles of men of the world. When years passed after the promises God had made to Abraham and Sarah of having children without fulfillment, they were motivated by a worldly principle that was widely accepted in that day. When Sarah offered Abraham her maid, Hagar, to become his wife and bring children into their family through her, this was a custom that was practiced at that time. Abraham took Hagar to be his second wife, and bore a son through her. This son, Ishmael, was not the fulfillment of the promise that God had made concerning “Seed,” and would prove to be a son born after the flesh, (Galatians 4:21-26) and a cause of great division and heartache in Abraham’s family. This was not the fault of Ishmael, but the fault of Abraham. He followed the “rudiments of the world,” rather than following the promises and dictates of God.
Beloved, lessons gleaned from the Bible should spare us from making some of the mistakes that others made before us, like this mistake that Abraham made in failing to wait upon the Lord. When God made this promise of “Seed” to Abraham, He did not intend for Abraham to fulfill it through his own power or resourcefulness. Abraham’s duty was to trust God and to wait upon Him. Let us be careful not to allow the “rudiments of the world” to cause us to miss God’s perfect will for our lives. Wait upon the Lord, trust in Him, and He will do the rest. Amen!
Pastor Steve Smith