Jan 10

Genesis 20-21
Psalm 10
Matthew 12


KG said...

Hey guys, I just posted a thought on my blog and would love to hear if you ever had a similar talk with your loved ones and what your beliefs/reactions were. Am I crazy?

Melissa said...

I have to admit, up to this point in Abraham's life, I never really understood why everyone proclaims him to be such a man of great faith. Time after time he keeps getting into sticky situations because he declares Sarah to be his sister... he goes off and has a child with Hagar even though God promised to give him one through Sarah, and so on.

When I first read Gen 21...I was really taken aback by Abraham sending Hagar and his son into the desert to fend for themselves. How could he do that! I thought. But re-reading it, I realized that Abraham was REALLY acting out on faith. Sarah said to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael...which "the matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son" (Gen 21:11) However, God said to "listen to whatever Sarah tells you" and promises that he will make a nation out of Ishmael as well.

I cannot even imagine how incredibly difficult it must have been for Abraham to watch them walk away.

Reflecting on this, I think I would have been so tempted to take the situation into my own hands...to ensure that Ishmael was taken care by providing for him myself instead of giving him over to God.
Abraham truly must have been a man of great faith to send his son into the desert and trust that God would provide.

There are so many situations where God wants to accomplish something great in our life, but we won't trust him enough to step out on faith. We often find comfort in the safety of a life without change, instead of trusting to follow where God leads, even if that means compromising His unspeakable blessings for our life.

My judgment of Abraham is really starting to soften...especially when I reflect on how my own natural reaction would have been to act out of fear instead of on faith in the same situation. :/

Emery Jo said...

VERY good point, melissa. I agree.

Also, we must remember that Ishmael was openly mocking Issac, which one commentary points out to be 'blatant persecution' against God's chosen one.

Ishmael was not being stopped in his mocking behavior. His mother and he needed to be sent away so that Ishmael's hatred would not fester against Issac... so that he wouldn't try to take Issac's life or his birthright away through violence. God was preserving his promise from the effects of Abraham's "taking matters into his own hands".

Again, grace.

The thing that has been SO SO astounding to me in these last chapters is that the situations that seem harsh and cruel at first glance are always proven to be rich with GRACE upon closer inspection.

I'm totally blown away. Amazing.

M i n t a y a said...

Melissa & Emery, Thank you for sharing your thoughs. I read this verse before but I didn't understand the point and what can I learn from Abraham's story. Now I know!