We have reached the half century, 50 not out, and still batting! (That is a cricket reference for those who might have missed it!!)
Our Bible passage today is Genesis Chapter 16.
Time has moved on and Sarai, Abram’s wife still hasn’t fallen pregnant, so no heir for Abram, and so she suggests Abram sleeps with her maidservant, Hagar, and try and build a dynasty that way.
Is this S&A still believing the Lord that A would have an heir from his own body, but trying to be creative in seeing that work out (possible), or actually does it imply impatience with the Lord not keeping His promise (more likely)?
Anyway Hagar does get pregnant, and that leads to despising (verse 4), and jealousy, and falling out between Abram and Sarai (verses 5) and ill-treatment (verse 6), so Hagar runs away.
But the Lord meets her on the way, is gracious to her, sends her back to Sarai, but promises a son Ishmael (meaning God hears) and many descendants to her (verse 10), but foretells that there will be trouble ahead (verse 12).
As I understand it, it is through Ishmael that the Arab people (and of course Muslims) relate themselves to Abraham.
It is a messy situation, but the Lord is sovereign, and He brings mercy and kindness out of human folly, and we can all be foolish at times!
And yet the New Testament (Galatians Chapter 4) likens Ishmael ‘born after the flesh’ to the way of self-effort in religion, and incompatible with the way of the Spirit, where God alone works.
It is Thursday so let us keep praying for and giving thanks for those working on the front line in the NHS and in care homes, and out in the community.
In our own church address list, let us pray for,
– Shirley and family.
Only a trickle of contributions for Sunday’s service so far, keep them coming.