Oh for faith more like the ocean’s depth than its rolling waves.*
My thoughts this morning are more about God’s patience and willingness to rescue than about Sarai’s lack of faith. I wondered what I wrote about this passage back when we studied Genesis. Now that I’ve re-read it I’m a bit surprised that again my heart leans toward the miracle of God’s grace.
“This human frailty [not trusting God] requires God having to continually rescue us from ourselves.”*
Fortunately God is not shocked that the consequence of sin – that all started by us doubting Him – is, in fact, doubting Him. This is apparently the ongoing struggle we will face – until heaven. The miracle is He is a willing and compassionate Rescuer. Like a lifeguard from his beach tower, He looks out – watching for the struggling swimmer. It does not really matter if I have been overtaken by the current or my own foolishness because He comes regardless, every single time, to save me.
*Genesis 16:1-16 from October 15, 2014 IF: Equip journal
The impatience of Sarai and eventually Abram causes Sarai to recommend her servant, Hagar, as a potential child bearing candidate. All through the time of A & S’s journey to see God’s promise fulfilled, they had lapses in their ability to trust God to do what He had promised. (It’s nothing different today – at least for me – my faith that God will come through ebbs and flows like the tides…and with less provocation!)
This human frailty requires God having to continually rescue us from ourselves. But even in the rescue we have generated consequence from our actions that God must now consider. Of course he is not surprised by what seem to be twists and turns in the road for us and He is perfectly capable of dealing. But from my perspective, I/we just keep making things worse.
So now we find Hagar having a son and God stepping in to rescue them both. And now Ishmael will become a father of his own nation – one that will forever be at odds with the line of his future half-brother, Isaac. Ishmael through Hagar – gets a promise similar to Abrams’ – your descendants cannot be numbered. Of course, this happens because of the original promise to Abram but Ishmael will not result in the Rescuer but rather in a religion that follows the same God – Allah and through a human prophet, Mohammad – rather than the true Savior.
Still, you have to love how God works in these things. Saving the innocent and those without power and blessing them.
Always loving, always caring, always acting, always moving toward the ultimate rescue plan.
Oh for faith more like the ocean’s depth than its rolling waves.
About the World?
God sees you and loves you…whoever you are.