Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Gen 12:1-3
Gen 15:1-6
Gen 16:10-12

Genesis 16:11  And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.

What hope was there for a child that was seen as a 'mistake?'  Ishmael was unloved, yet God still had a plan for his life.  While Hagar was pregnant with Ishmael, God started revealing His plan for her son.  It was during a state of despondency that Hagar fled to the desert, and that God revealed their future to her.  He promised to bless Abraham and all his children, and Ishmael was Abraham's son too.  The Lord would keep to His word, despite the circumstances in which Ishmael was conceived and born.  

The Lord promised to be a shield to Abraham, and the same protection was applicable to Ishmael.  The Lord also promised a reward.  When God promised that Abraham would have more children than the amount of  stars in the sky (Gen 15:5), He didn't only mean that it would be from Isaac, Sara's son, but also from Ishmael. 

It is also very significant that God chose Ishmael's name.  In Biblical times, names were very important, because it revealed something about the history of the character of the person carrying the name.  The name Ishmael means 'God will hear", and is probably fully understood by Hagar and her son, when they were crying to God in the desert (Gen 21:9-21).  The Lord declares that Ishmael would be a 'wild donkey', and thereby paints the picture of a man who would be known by stubbornness and struggles.

The Lord confirmed once more that He has big plans for Ishmael, just as He had made a promise to Abraham for a multitude of descendants, He said that the same would be for Ishmael.  The nation descending from Abraham would be Israel, and the nation from Ishmael would be the Arabs.  Even though Ishmael was the 'son of own attempts', God would still be faithful to him.  "The God that see", saw and met Him at every stage of his life, and never left him alone.

God Bless!

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