The Crucified Life Ministries Blog

The Flesh of Ishmael The Promise of Isaac

“And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.”  Genesis 15:3-5 C

Abraham was elderly, in his eighties and still yearning for a son, for an heir to carry on His namesake.  Sara was still barren these many years and Abraham had not yet received the son God had promised to provide.  The only child to have grown up in their household was Eliezer, who was born to a servant, not of Abraham’s loins.

Both he and Sara became impatient, living by sight, losing all faith in this promise of God ever being fulfilled.  Sara came up with a plan of her own to provide a son to Abraham, knowing he was desperately seeking this and she was physically unable to provide a child for him.  Abraham listened intently to Sarah’s scheme and willingly agreed to have a son with her maiden Hagar.   God’s plan seemed doomed to fail with no other hope possible for fulfilling this coveted desire of Abraham.

How many times have you eagerly stepped into the shoes of God, orchestrating, maneuvering, and manipulating events or situations because God was unable to deliver the desired outcome in timing that lined up with your assessment of the situation?  If we are honest, all of us would have to admit we have pushed God off His throne readily assuming His role of authority in our own lives many times, too many times to count, over the years.

The promise God made to Abraham concerning Isaac was definitely going to be brought to pass, God never lies and always fulfills that which He promises, but in His timing.  In God’s timing, not man’s timing.  That is where we all fail, to wait upon God.  To trust His promises.

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”  Psalms 37:4-5 Content goes here…

There are always consequences for sin.  Failure to trust God and wait patiently for His timing in a situation is sin.  It is saying to God, “I can handle this much better and quicker than you can or ever will for me.”

Some four thousand years later our world is still dealing with the consequences of Abraham’s impatient decision to follow Sara’s convoluted plot for Abraham to lie with Hagar and her bearing a son as an heir.

God’s plan was different; it was a miracle for Sara in her elder years, to become pregnant by Abraham and providing Isaac as the heir for Abraham’s seed.  God did bring His promise to fruition and Sara did bear Isaac for Abraham after Abraham had followed through with Sara’s plan.

To this day, the descendants of Isaac, the promise, and the descendants of Ishmael, the flesh, continually struggle for control of the land of Israel.

And yes, in our own lives our natural bent for our fleshly desires continually struggles against our spiritual mindset and the desires of God for our life.

Paul acknowledged having ever present spiritual battles in His life:

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Romans 7:18-23 

Abraham, Sara, and Paul, and many other biblical characters are given to us as examples of failing to wait on God, failing to trust in God, and the wages of our sin.

The birth of Ishmael will continue to wage spiritual and physical warfare upon this earth until Jesus comes back to claim the victory and carry His own up to heaven  all who place their faith in Him.


For Further Contemplation:

Sin, even confessed sin before God, can wage major consequences lasting a lifetime.  Sin is serious and men need to heed it seriously.

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