Often times, I am asked a very logical question with regard to the fact that Abraham’s first-born son was Ishmael, so why is it that Isaac – his second son—inherited Abraham’s original blessing? It is a valid question, and one that begs an answer. In the next few blog entries, as we dig deeper into Scripture, I pray that we will have a more solid understanding of this issue.
The first point that I want to make (which I believe is foundational to our understanding of not only this matter, but also many others) is that God is the Creator of the world and we are not. We men and women are but part of His creation, and therefore, need to submit to His authority and what He decides.
“But now, O LORD, Thou art our Father, we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and all of us are the work of Thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8
Our view of what is fair and what is not fair in our eyes needs to match that of the Lord’s Himself; we need to remember that we are the clay, and He is the potter. As such, He can decide to do whatever He wants with His clay in the way He chooses. Sadly today, many are trying to justify their own biases and worldview by bringing God down to their level in order to fit their desires, and by doing so, although in some cases it may be unintentional, they put themselves in the same level as God. I am reminded of the words of the Prophet Isaiah:
” You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, that what is made should say to its maker, “He did not make me”; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?” Isaiah 29:16
For the sake of our story, in order to understand the full picture of God’s plan, we need to always go back to the foundation; in the original promise of blessing, which included the promise of blessing to the descendants, Sarai (who became “Sarah”) was Abraham’s wife who was mentioned:
“ Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. And Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. And the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.” Genesis 12:1-7
The fact that Sarai was Abraham’s wife and is mentioned in this great promise is crucial to our understanding of God’s plan for Abraham’s descendants.
I would like to encourage us this weekend to search our hearts and make sure that we are the ones conforming to His image and likeness, and not trying to make Him fit ours.
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