Many of us blame Abraham for having Ishmael, but don’t we all have the tendency to do this same?
Have you ever seen somebody do something and say” But God told me?”.
Now lets have a closer look at this account.
In the book of Genesis, Abraham told the Lord that he was childless and the Lord told him that out of his loins would come his own child.
Genesis 15: 1- 6
After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4 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.
5 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.
6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness
Lets look at verse 4 closely 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.
At this point, Abraham knew that he would have a child from his own bowels, however what Abraham did not know was through by whom? So when Sarai his wife asked her maid to give her a child by Abraham (Genesis 16, 1- 5), he could have assumed that this was his confirmation word. After all, the child was from his own bowels .
Do you see how easy it is to miss what God wants to do?
When the Lord told Abraham that he would have a heir from his own bowels, he could have asked by whom? And before we throw stones, do we not all do the same?
Sometimes we hear a word from the Lord and instead of waiting for further clarification we jump ahead. This appears to what could have happened here. It was not until Genesis 17 that Abraham received a word from the Lord that Sarai his wife would have a child.
Genesis 17: 15 - 22
15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
Can you see the above account? The first time Abraham received a word that a child would come from his bowels. Years later, he received another word that Sarah would have a child.
Do you see the assumption that was made? Abraham did not even believe that Sarah could have a child from his initial response (Genesis 17: 17). But God had a greater plan and Abraham and Sarah made the necessary adjustments to recieve from God.
Logical thinking when dealing with the things of God will get us into trouble. When we have a direction, we need to wait and ask the Lord “How He wants to do it” or let the Lord work it out in his own way.
We are to acknowledge the Lord in all our ways so He can direct our path (Proverbs 3: 6). We don’t want to direct our own paths.
Have you received a word from the Lord? Allow the Lord to work it out. Do whatever you need to do, but don’t make any assumptions on how it will be fulfilled.
Sacrifice is a step beyond convenience. Bill Johnson