Reading: Genesis 21: 8-21
Verse 12: It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.
God’s big plan is at work. Sometimes it is hard to see the big plan from our own limited vantage point. From our small view sometimes we cannot see very far. In today’s passage, God knows the big plan. He says to Abraham, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned”. This is the big plan. The nation of Israel will come through Isaac – his child with wife Sarah. It fulfills the promise made long ago. The covenant involves divine guidance and blessing.
The big picture even influences the writers of Genesis. Notice that in our passage the name ‘Ishmael’ is not used. The writers instead use ‘son’ and ‘boy’. Maybe the story is less personal that way. Yet when we look at Abraham, we see that this is very personal. It is his son Ishmael that must be cast out. It is his first born son that he must send out into the desert. Even though it is part of God’s big plan, this is a hard thing that Abraham is being asked to do. He is stuck in his small view.
As Abraham teeters in the balance, God gives him some reassurance. In a way, God is saying, ‘truth’ me’. Abraham has had lots of experience trusting God when he could not see the big plan, so he trusts once again in God and follows obediently. At times we find ourselves in a situation similar to Abraham’s. The things that we need to ‘send out’ are often sins or other things that we can see we need to let go. Once in a while, though, we find ourselves in a spot like Abraham, having to make the “more right” choice. We have to let go of something we kind of love to remain obedient to God’s big plan for our lives. In these moments, may we recall God’s faithfulness in our lives and trust in Him to be faithful once again.