Wednesday, May 4, 2011

You Version, Isaac, and Ishmael

I have always had an issue with daily Bible reading. I love it, but I had never made it a priority. Along came You Version with their wonderful reading plans. I did a 40 day Lent reading and stuck with it, well after that one I was trying to figure out which one to do next. I stumbled across Major Events a 65 day plan. So I am doing that one. I am on day 10 and read Genesis 21. So I thought I would share my thoughts on each days readings. I know I am starting 10 days into it, but that is okay.

Chapter 21 starts out with Sarah receiving Gods promise of a son. Abraham was 100 and Sarah was probably around 87 years of age. (Gen 23:1, 25:7) It is an interesting story, but one we are all familiar with, at least I hope so. I don't want to stay on Sarah though, I want to focus on Hagar and Ishmael.

Genesis Chapter 21 verse 8 starts with Isaac's feast (I guess it was a weaning celebration) Sarah saw Ishmael mocking Isaac so Sarah went to Abraham and complained. Which as a reminder, it was Sarah that got them all in this mess, well along with Abraham. Sarah, not waiting on God, told Abraham to go and sleep with her handmaiden, Hagar, to get him a son. Well right there Abraham should have said, "no, woman we will wait upon the Lord." Yet he didn't. Ladies, I want to stop right here and remind you (and myself) what power we have as women (wives). Our men want to please us and they will do anything to do that. Look at Adam, there again, he should have put his foot down and didn't. Same as Abraham. So we need to make sure that when we know God has spoken something in our lives we need to stop, and wait. Listen to our man and make sure we stay within the boundaries that God has given us. If we don't, you might not get to stay in your paradise....and there will be trouble. Okay back to Hagar and Ishmael. So Sarah tells Abraham send them away. Verse 11 says this was very difficult for Abraham. It was his first born son, Ishmael at this time would have been between 8-12 years of age. So Abraham had all this time with him and grew to love him as any father would. Imagine your husband having to send his first born son away with the possibility of never seeing him again. I am sure this grieved him terribly. Yet God promised Abraham that Ishmael and Hagar would be okay. (Gen 21:11) He also then promised him that your offspring will go through Isaac. (Gen 21:12)

Genesis 21:13 is where I really want to go. God promised Abraham that He would make a nation of Ishmael's descendants. I have been contemplating what did God mean by a great nation. (Gen 21:13,18) Did he mean great as in good or great as in size....I have been looking and I am by no means a biblical scholar, so looking up Hebrew word meanings well not my forte. I have been reading commentaries and Biblical history and I am leaning towards great meaning large. In my Biblical History: OT on my Bible software it says this, "The lad dwelt in that wide district between Palestine and Mount Horeb, called "the wilderness of Paran," which to this day is the undisputed dominion of his descendants, the Bedouin Arabs.Bible History Old Testament. We all know what a huge nation Islam that is why I tend to lean towards size verses goodness.

I do find it all interesting my questions after reading this, as I am very curious about Bible history etc...did Ishmael follow Jehovah? He married and Egyptian, did she turn his heart from God or had Hagar already done that.? Whatever happened to Ishmael that the Bible doesn't share is a mystery, one I may have to dig deeper into, because I do believe in the Major Events I will run into Ishmael again!

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