Monday, March 14, 2016
But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, Ishmael; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.” The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. Genesis 21:9-14
OK, OK. I know God’s words (see underlined portion above) let Abraham off the hook for what he did to Hagar and Ishmael, but not so fast. The text does not tell us that Abraham sought God’s wisdom in this matter. No, the way the text is written, God seeks out Abraham.
This whole Abraham/Hagar/Sarah/Ishmael/Isaac thing is messy, and yet also instructive. Because if we tell the truth about our lives and circumstances, we find ourselves in messy moments just like brother Abe. When we do, may we react in a different manner. May we actively seek God for wisdom and guidance, and then may we have the courage to be still and listen. God will speak and walk us through the challenges of our lives.
And one more thing, if we do not seek God, there may be a camel, somewhere, looking at us funny (see image above).