Daily email from the Vicar Number 68

Today’s Bible passage is Genesis Chapter 21 verses 8 to 21.
After the joy of the long-awaited Isaac’s birth last time, we come crashing back to family issues today.
We realise that the implications of Abraham having 2 sons from 2 different women, which started back in Chapter 16 some 15/16 years previously continue to run deep.  Hagar and Ishmael cannot be reconciled to Sarah and Isaac, and Abraham, the father of both boys is caught in the middle.
And here we see both decisive action, Hagar and Ishmael are sent away, and yet God’s kindness and provision to those who are in need.
It is through Isaac that Abraham’s children will be reckoned (verse 12) and so as the NT later states clearly there is a clear divide between children born naturally and those who are born supernaturally or spiritually (the children of promise).
But as Hagar and Ishmael are out in the desert in great need and near death, the Lord hears the boy’s crying (? praying), remember Ishmael means ‘God hears’, and promises a heritage for the future (verse 18) and provision of water now (verse 19).
One writer puts it like this,
‘(We see) God’s willingness to answer the prayers of those whose folly lands them in dire straits, if they turn to him in penitence.’ Wow!!
In our prayers continue to remember the difficult situations in the USA and Hong Kong, as Martin reminded us in the prayers on Sunday, for justice and for the restraining of more potential violence.
And from our extended church address list, please pray for,
– Beatrix and family,
– Ellie (Lynn’s daughter) and her husband Lee
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