Isaac or Ishmael
So Sarai said to Abram, “Since the Lord has prevented me from having children, have sexual relations with my servant. Perhaps I can have a family by her.” Abram did what Sarai told him. -Genesis 16:2
Having waited and praying for answers to our prayers for so long and with waning or no hope of getting it, most of us resort to the second option, maybe even third, to the back up plan, it is human isn’t it?
Sarai had been waiting for a baby by Abram for years and she did not really believe that her prayers would be answered considering the advanced age she was in. So what is it she did?; she allowed her servant and a husband to have a baby together, in that way she would ‘have a baby’ for her husband Abram.
The baby came and he was called Ishmael. Ishmael to me represent waning faith on the part of Sarai and Abram. Ishmael represent relying on our own thinking and works to get what we want, or at least what is similar to what we want, instead of relying on God! Ismael represent impatience toward God and His timing! Have you ever wondered why Christians ask witch doctors for help?
What or who is your Ishmael? What are those things you did in desperation because you thought God wouldn’t come through for you?
Promises usually takes long to be fulfilled, sometimes they don’t get fulfilled in our lifetime. Most faithful of God’s children, apostles and prophet passed on without having received nor enjoyed the promise; Moses never enjoyed the promised land. Hence we can’t help but wonder if we’d ever live to see His promises manifest in our lives. However, we cannot lose faith and hence end up doing things that are not consistent with His Word in an attempt to accelerate and bring forth or bring about the fulfillment of ‘the promise’ even though it is not from Him!
“I will bless her and will give you a son through her. I will bless her and she will become a mother of nations. Kings of countries will come from her!” -Genesis 17:16
God said, “No, Sarah your wife is going to bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. I will confirm my covenant with him as a perpetual covenant for his descendants after him. -Genesis 17:19
Settling for anything less that the promise from God and God alone is settling for second best! The fulfillment of a promise came in a form of Isaac, and it was directly from God! Had they known that the promise would be fulfilled, in less than 15 years, they would not have resorted to bringing about Ishmael.
This miscalculation in their part created
– animosity between Sarai and her servant Hagar and
– also encouraging adultery between Abram and Hagar.
This animosity is being experienced today in the form of mistrust and killings between ‘some’ Ismaelites ( Muslims) and Christians (or Jews, spiritual descendants of Isaac).
I would rather wait on the promise of God in faith, instead of doing what is inconsistent with His word! I suggest you do the same. Wait for Isaac, he is worth a wait. If God said He will bring Isaac, then don’t settle for Ishmael. Ismael represents compromised principles. Don’t compromise your principles, instead have faith in God and His integrity instead.
Footnote; descendants of Ishmael and those of Isaac have the same ancestor, same roots…