Abraham, Arabs & God's 'Slow' Promises
God promised a man of great age he would become a father. (Genesis 15:4) His wife was both barren and impossibly elderly. The man was Abraham, his wife - Sarah.
Sarah suggested her plan, a Plan B for children (Genesis 16:1-4). Later she laughed at God's promises.(Genesis 18:10-12)
Abraham agreed with Sarah. His child was born to her Egyptian maidservant Hagar. The boy was named Ishmael. But Ishmael was not the child of promise. (See Genesis 16 & Romans 8:9)
God kept his promise fourteen years after Ishmael was born. Abraham had already greeted his own new century before Isaac - his child of promise was born.
Much family distress and bitter enmity had grown between Sarah and Hagar.
And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:36)
Finally, Abraham sent his first born and Hagar away, exiling them to the Desert of Paran.
From Ishmael the mighty Arab nation grew. This was the same blessing given to Abraham for God's nation of Israel. As Isaac fathered Israel, so too Ishmael the Arabs. (Genesis 17:18-21, 21:18)
Yet Abraham's agreement with Sarah's distrust birthed a wild donkey of a man. He would be against everyone and live in hostility towards his brothers. (Genesis 16:12) To this very moment Abraham's and Sarah's Plan B spells the contradiction of prosperity and distress, fertility and death across this world.
Six reflections to those who would still wait upon God's promises that seem so slow:
- it is not righteous to 'assist God' ahead of His time, to make His plans happen for Him. The Lord never needs the help of man, but He does require patient obedience
- what you may see as the answer to end the season of waiting is not the answer, because no man sees as God sees
- only the child of promise can bring the pure goodness of the promise
- to 'assist God' introduces problems that are immediate and completely avoidable; as well as a future impact none could foresee. It is unlikely that family members will give wise counsel.
- no man can change or manipulate God's appointed times, but they can grow in righteousness, with a faith soaked in patience (regardless of people's doubts or approval) while they wait
- the 'slow cooking' time of pre-promise fulfilment is a Divinely appointed preparation season. It is to gather all that will be required to live the promise out after it arrives.
Each of God's promises 'carry a child', waiting is simply the gestation. Wise waiting knows God alone delivers to birth.
The period of waiting posses the soul with patience. (Dorothy Kerin)
Today's Soul Snippet:
Solitude releases the dams of the soul.
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