Blessing for Ishmael


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Blessing for Ishmael

  1. 1. Blessings for Ishmael and Isaac Genesis 21 & 26
  2. 2. Context The lesson reviews the promises of God for Ishmael and Isaac. The study's aim is to realize that God keeps His promises no matter how impossible the circumstances may seem. The study's goal is to deepen our trust in God and His Word.
  3. 3. Context Abraham is described in Scripture as an example of faith, and he certainly is (Hebrews 11:8). But even “the father of the faithful” had his shortcomings. Sarah suggested they take things into their own hands. She urged Abraham to sleep with her handmaid, Hagar. He did and fathered a child— Ishmael. Their attempt to run ahead of God led to tragic results, the effects of which are still obvious in the world today.
  4. 4. Context At the time of today’s lesson, Ishmael was about 16 years old. He mocked Isaac and made fun of him. Sarah asked Abraham to send Ishmael and his mother away. God told Abraham to do what Sarah asked, and he reconfirmed his earlier promise (Genesis 21:12) that through Isaac all spiritual blessings will come (Romans 9:6-8; Hebrews 11:17-19).
  5. 5. Key Verse: Genesis 21:12-13 12 But God said to Abraham, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. 13 Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed."
  6. 6. Genesis 21:13 “As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.”
  7. 7. Genesis 21:13 Abraham had to send Ishmael away at least temporarily. When Abraham died at the age of 175, both Ishmael and Isaac attended his burial (Genesis 25:9). Because Ishmael was Abraham’s son, God promised to make a great nation of him also (some of Ishmael’s descendants are listed in Genesis 25).
  8. 8. Genesis 21:13 Ishmael could choose to pass on the knowledge of the true God to his children. Abraham had Ishmael circumcised in obedience to God, and presumably Abraham taught Ishmael about the true God: Genesis 17:23.
  9. 9. Genesis 21:13 Lesson: God's plan to bless one does not preclude His ability to bless another (Gen. 21:12-13) Reflection: How like us to be more enamored with our blessings that those of others. We tend to look upon them with envy or resentment. We should never forget that God is actively engaged in the lives of those around us in ways we will never know. Their blessing may well be a part of God’s plan.
  10. 10. Genesis 21:14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba.
  11. 11. Genesis 21:14 Though Abraham loved Ishmael, Abraham rose early in the morning to obey God. Later, Abraham would rise early in the morning to take Isaac to Mount Moriah to offer him as a sacrifice in obedience to God (Genesis 22).
  12. 12. Genesis 21:14 Lesson: God's will often requires doing the hard thing and leaving the results to Him (vs. 14) Reflection: We are so conditioned to providing for others that the idea of pushing someone away is reprehensible. Yet God may require us to do just that in order to redeem that person. God is not asking us to give them over to the devil but rather to give them over to Him. The question is whether we think we know better than God.
  13. 13. Genesis 21:17 And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.
  14. 14. Genesis 21:17 God did not abandon Hagar and Ishmael. The “angel of God” was probably “the Son of God” before He came to earth in human flesh. They could remember this intervention of God in their behalf, and they could tell their descendants about the faithfulness of the true God to those who trust Him.
  15. 15. Genesis 21:17 Lesson: God answers the cries of His children at just the right time (Gen. 21:17-19) Reflection: We may forget that our children pray to God as much as we do. We tend to advocate for them and approach them with what we believe is God’s will but are set back when they have ascertained something completely different. Learn to trust the ability of your child to go before the Lord and win His attention.
  16. 16. Genesis 21:18 Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.”
  17. 17. Genesis 21:18 God told Hagar not to abandon Ishmael. God reaffirmed to her the promise He had given to Abraham (which Abraham had probably told her about when he sent her away). After He spoke words of comfort to her, God told Hagar to comfort her son.
  18. 18. Genesis 21:19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.
  19. 19. Genesis 21:19 God opened Hagar’s eyes so she could see a well of water, perhaps a well that God himself (the angel of the Lord) had miraculously dug for her. From that day, they knew they could trust God to care for them. She followed the guidance of God and partook of God’s provisions.
  20. 20. Genesis 21:19 Lesson: Obedience brings God's blessings both to us and to our loved ones. Reflection: Failure and disappointment affect more than just us. Our sorrow bleeds over into the lives of those we love. But our trust and obedience to God can have even greater reach. When we do what is before us in faith, God opens wells of blessings not just to us but to those we love.
  21. 21. Genesis 21:20 We cannot emphasize enough that God was with Ishmael, and Ishmael knew the true God. The Bible lists his descendants in Genesis 25:1218 (12 princes of 12 tribes were born to him). Whereas Isaac would be a farmer and shepherd to meet his needs, Ishmael would be a hunter.
  22. 22. Genesis 21:21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
  23. 23. Genesis 21:21 Paran included the Sinai Peninsula, an area that Moses would later cross when God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Hagar, who was Egyptian, found a wife for Ishmael from nearby Egypt. The marriage would have been arranged by Hagar as was the custom of the day.
  24. 24. Genesis 26:12 Isaac sowed seed in that land, and in the same year reaped a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him,
  25. 25. Genesis 26:12 Isaac indeed lived as an alien in the land and those who lived in the land saw the blessing and power of the true God in the many good things God did for Isaac. They saw good reasons to trust in the true God as they saw God at work in Isaac’s life.
  26. 26. Genesis 26:12 Lesson: Personal obedience leads to God's richest blessings (vs. 12-13) Reflection: To God, what happened to Isaac and Ishmael was personal as well as prophetic. God takes a personal interest in our lives and enjoys blessing us as we fulfill His will. Like a father proud of his children and grandchildren, we love giving when they travel in the path we know is best for them.
  27. 27. Genesis 26:13 and the man became rich; he prospered more and more until he became very wealthy.
  28. 28. Genesis 26:13 Isaac worked as a farmer and God gave him the growth to become very wealthy. Eventually, because Abimelech saw how God blessed Isaac, Abimelech made peace with Isaac even though he hated Isaac (Genesis 26:26-33).
  29. 29. Genesis 26:13 C. F. Keil explains that this was an unusual blessing, since the yield even in very fertile regions is not generally greater than from 25- to 50-fold. Isaac’s riches continued to increase and he became a very wealthy person. Even his pagan neighbors could recognize how much the Lord had blessed him (Genesis 26:29).
  30. 30. Conclusion Sarah had moments she would just as soon forget entirely. Peter’s use of Sarah as an example of humility and submissiveness overlooks this event as an exception to the normal rule. In a similar fashion the writer to the Hebrews spoke of Abraham and Sarah as those whose faith we should imitate.
  31. 31. Conclusion Their mistakes and sins are not the point of the author’s purpose in Hebrews, but rather their faith. Their sins are recorded in Scripture in order to remind us that the men and women of old were no different than we are and to serve as a warning and instruction to us not to repeat their mistakes (I Corinthians 10:11).