Do you ever feel God is slower than you would like? Perhaps you believe He has promised you something; and maybe that thing is very important to you. But you wait and wait and nothing happens. Perhaps you’re longing to get married, for a child, for healing, a job, a vision to be fulfilled or a loved one to be saved. Why is God sometimes so slow? Especially with the things that matter to us most, so it would seem. Has He forgotten? Am I supposed to do something myself? Did He really promise?
Abraham must have felt like that sometimes. He was old and he had no son who could inherit – not only his property but that incredible promise God had made – that Abraham’s descendants would be as many as the sand on the seashore and through him all the people of the earth would be blessed. That couldn’t happen without a son.
But where was the son God had promised? Many years went by and Abraham and Sarah went from old to elderly. It was far too late now. There was no way she would have a son. So Sarah suggested giving her maidservant Hagar to Abraham, and letting him have a son through her. That’s how Ishmael was born and became the ancestor of the Arab race.
Yet when Ishmael was 13, and Sarah was 90, God finally said that the time had come for the promise to be fulfilled and Sarah would become pregnant with Isaac, the miracle baby. Abraham laughed and found it difficult to believe. He responded by saying ‘If only Ishmael might live under Your blessing’ (Genesis 17:18 NIV).
What about you? It’s so easy to think that God can’t or won’t keep His promise. Of course you need to be sure that God really did promise it in the first place. Some ‘prophetic’ words are not really from God. Ask God to show you and be willing to hear His answer.
Sometimes the Bible has clear guidance for your life, e.g. that you should only marry a believer (2 Corinthians 6:14, 1 Corinthians 7:39). Be careful to agree that God’s word applies to you. Remember that His promises to you are always precious and completely trustworthy.
But what if you did make an ‘Ishmael’? Can Ishmael live under God’s blessing (as Abraham prayed)? Yes, Ishmael was blessed by God. But it was through Isaac that the amazing, eternal and glorious promise of God was fulfilled – the Lord Jesus Christ. How could Abraham have foreseen that? He couldn’t - he just had to trust God’s word.
Prayer: Help me Lord to trust you - even when circumstances seem impossible. Help me to avoid going my own way and to always look to you for your answers. In Jesus, Amen
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