Scripture Reading: Genesis 21:8-21; 16:12; 17:19-20; 25:12-18
One of the lessons learned from examining the lives of Bible characters is that any deviation from God’s perfect will results in heartache, difficulty and disappointment. This is true in the life of Abraham. His taking of Hagar to wife at the urging of Sarah was a mistake, a mistake that brought grief into his home and resulted in difficulties for his descendants from that time forward. According to both Jewish and Islamic traditions, Ishmael was the father of the Arabic people, and that in itself reveals the problems that came into being with Abraham’s union with Hagar. In the current time, thousands of years later, the conflict between the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac echo the problems created when God’s people deviate from His perfect plan.
The Bible is not merely a history, it is a guide for the redeemed. It not only tells us how we can know God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, it tells us how we should live, and how we can avoid mistakes in our lives that will cause us grief. For this reason, when God’s people read His Word they should carefully make personal application of the truths they learn. As Paul said, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) Abraham should not have taken Hagar to himself. In this act he was getting ahead of God, not waiting upon the Lord. He was accepting norms in his world that were not of God, customs that were contrary to God’s will. As believers, we must make personal application and glean from the mistakes others made before us as revealed in God’s Word. May God help us to do so that we may better please Him! Amen!
Pastor Steve Smith