Keywords: God’s will, listen, obedience, planning
March 11, 2006 Genesis 21:12
But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called . . . .”
My first thought was it takes the voice of God to make a man listen to his wife! Heehee. However, it is little wonder Abraham didn’t want to do what Sarah asked him. It was against the current laws of their society, against his sense of rightness, and against his love for Ishmael, his son through Sarah’s handmaiden, Hagar. Why would God do that?
As the story unfolds, Hagar and Ishmael were sent into the wilderness. After they ran out of water and were crying out in need, they had an encounter with “the angel of the Lord,” who is considered by many a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ. He provided water and “was with the lad” and his mother. Later, Ishmael’s descendants became the Arab nations that are now the enemies of Israel.
The Lord Jesus Christ controls history. The Arab nations may not realize His influence and presence in their beginnings, just as they do not honor Him today, but He was there ensuring their survival and keeping His promise to “multiply him exceedingly” and “make him a great nation.”
On a more personal level, I’m often like Abraham in that I am displeased with what is happening around me. I don’t see the hand of God in it, partly because I’m not looking. I’m more interested in how things affect me right now, not His bigger plan.
In the past couple of days He has been telling me to not let emotions, personal desires, fears and so on motivate me. Instead I am to listen to Him and do what He says. It is snowing again today. Tomorrow I am driving 400 km into the mountains for classes that cost me large, non-refundable fees. I’m basically a coward driving alone, particularly in bad weather, and basically Scottish about spending money. Both crowd my mind. What do I do? God keeps telling me to listen to Him. I don’t like what I see out there, but I don’t want to lose that money. He says listen to Me, not your fears and your concerns. Be like Abraham. Just do what I say because I have a bigger plan than what you can see.
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