Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Genesis 21

It feels somewhat ironic that I got to read this chapter today. Today’s chapter deals primarily with the fulfillment of a promise. God promised Abraham that he would have a son with his wife, Sarah. Abraham is now 100 years old at this and Sarah is 90. Both had obviously waited a very long time for this promise to be fulfilled. The irony comes from the fact that, as of this morning, I have two legitimate job offers on the table after nearly four years of not having a single one. Nothing is concrete yet, but both look pretty good. One is a slightly more secure position than the other, but the second is more in line with my goals.

Maybe God is trying to tell me something here with the life of Abraham, because here he had to choose between his sons. He had to decide which son to keep with him and which one to send away. Both were going to be prosperous. God promised to watch out for both, and Abraham obviously loved them both. Still, he had to chose. I know I am not choosing the fate of nations here as Abraham, but it is still a choice. It is a chance to trust in God and listen for the right answer while fearing I’ll make the wrong choice.

The important thing here is that we remember that God is faithful in all His promises. He promised Isaac to Abraham through Sarah, and He delivered. He promised Hagar and Abraham that Ishmael would be made into a great nation, and he was. God has promised that He will never fail us, even when we are fearful that we may fail ourselves. I must learn to accept that I can screw up this decision, but it does not ultimately screw up God’s overriding plan for me.

6 Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me." 7 And she added, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age." – Genesis 21:6-7

Laughter is such an expression of joy. I think it is great when we can laugh at what God has done for us. I think the laughter here was out of simple amazement at what God can do. When he cares for us against the odds, how we can’t help but marvel at His creation. Sometimes you just want to smile, throw up your hands, and say, “whatever, God. You know what to do.” The same is true for the separation between Ishmael and Abraham. Though he would get along with Isaac, this is the root cause for conflict between Israelis an Muslims to this day. God has a much larger plan here, but we won’t know what it is until it is fulfilled.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I am so thankful to hear that you have two job offers before you. God's watch keeps perfect time, or so my mother used to tell me. The longer I live, the more I see the truth in that sentiment.