Are We There Yet?
Take a moment to confess any sin to God. Accept his forgiveness and praise him as you prepare to read.
Read Genesis 21:1-21
 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised.  Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.  Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.  When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him.  Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.  Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”  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.”  The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast.  But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking,  and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”  The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son.  But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.  I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”  Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.  When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.  Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.  God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.  Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”  Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.  God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.  While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was God's plan for Ishmael? How did he protect him?
God has promised Sarah and Abraham a child, but they have had to wait so long that when the baby finally arrives it is laughably improbable that he has come from such aged parents. Sarah’s laughter of disbelief turns to laughter of joy and, as she predicted, the story continues to provoke a chuckle today (6). But while Isaac was born extremely late from his mother’s perspective, he came exactly when God had planned (2). Abraham and Sarah’s desire to see God bring about his promises had led to them finding their own solution and, as a result, Abraham had a son by his servant Hagar. Ishmael was not the child to inherit the promise and his father, with pain and regret, has to send him away. While it is hard to wait on God, and his timing can seem intolerably out of sync with our own, it is always wiser not to try to make things happen our way. We are all waiting but we can do it impatiently, angrily and fretfully, or with faith and courage, holding on to the promises of God with tenacity and trust in his goodness.
What are you waiting for at the moment? Are you waiting in a way that brings glory to God?
Good Lord, I believe that Your timing is always right. When that’s hard to understand, help me to trust it.
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