August 20, 2018
2 Chronicles 16:9…For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards him.
When Abraham was 75 years old, the LORD said to him “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing.”(Genesis 12). Abraham obeyed this call and because he did not have a son of his own, he took Lot, his nephew, with him. As time went on conflict ensued between Lot’s herds’ men and his own, therefore separation between Lot and Abraham had to take place to bring peace.
After that separation, the LORD appeared to Abraham again and blessed him. There was a promise of a son to Abraham that will inherit all the blessings God bestowed unto him. Abraham believed this and it was counted unto him for righteousness. After this promise, Sarah approached her husband to go into Hagar, her maid so as to obtain children by her. Sarah had given up hope of having a child by herself. Abraham took Hagar as advised, and Hagar became pregnant and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes (Genesis 16). This was the beginning of another conflict in Abraham’s home. Hagar ran out of the house and the Angel of the LORD appeared to her and told her to go back to her mistress and submit to her. The Bible says Abraham was 86 years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abraham.
The conflict in Abraham’s home continued until God appeared to him again when he was 99 years old, and said unto him, “I am the Almighty God, walk before me and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.(17:1-3).
Though the Bible did not reveal to us why He chose Abraham but we were informed that he obeyed the call immediately but not fully. God does not want partial obedience because partial obedience is full disobedience. The outcome of the first disobedience was a conflict, and strife which brought bad blood between the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle. Abraham then realized there was no way for peace to reign between Lot and him if they were still together. Then he said to Lot “Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me.” Lot and his family moved eastward and pitched toward Sodom (Genesis 13). After this separation, The LORD appeared to Abraham after the separation of Lot, and said, “Lift up NOW thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art..For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.” The call of Abraham did not include Lot, no wonder they could not dwell together in PEACE. God’s eyes always run to and fro throughout the earth seeking for a heart that is perfect towards him. A perfect heart is the heart that fully obeys God.
The LORD appeared to him again reiterating his promise of blessing him with descendants that would be numerous like the stars of the sky and the sand of the sea shore. The Bible did not tell us whether Sarah was also informed about this promise. Notwithstanding when Sarah approached him to sleep with their maid because according to her “the LORD had restrained me from bearing”, if Abraham had a perfect heart, he should have assured her that the LORD that spoke to him about descendants coming from him did not tell him to do that. God was expecting him to disagree with the option proposed by his wife, because Hagar was not his wife, but a maid. May be he too has been considering it and Sarah just helped him to bring it out. Though God honored this union with conception of Ishmael, things were not the same again between Abraham and Sarah. For 13 years, Abraham had to share his love between two women, and a dear son Ishmael which he cherished. There was no more TRUST between Abraham and Sarah as it used to be. Also there was envy or jealousy, strife, and lack of respect between the two women, each one claiming access to the same man.
This unhealthy rivalry continued until God called Abraham in Genesis 17 and told him to walk before him and be perfect, and that his promise of a son to Sarah will come to pass soon. When Issac eventually came, Sarah demanded the exit of Hagar and her son from the family. It was painful to Abraham, but there had to be a separation between the two sons because Isaac was the rightful heir to the promise.
Brothers and sisters, we need to know that God does not slack concerning his promises, He knows the end from the beginning, and whatever His mouth has spoken will surely come to pass. let us remember that the entire universe is naked before Him. He knows those whose hearts are perfect towards Him. When we obey Him fully, He will manifest all his promises and we will not lack any good thing. He shows himself strong in your behalf when you walk with him with a perfect heart. The problem that started with Ishmael and Isaac in Abraham’s house did not end with the departure of Hagar and her son. It escalated to the point that today we are bearing the consequences of the bitterness between their descendants (Arabs and Israeli) just like we are still reaping the consequences of the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Let us make every effort to obey God fully (not partially) because it is for our good. May the LORD deliver us and bring permanent solution to the problem the world is facing now in Jesus name, Amen.
Prayer…LORD, you are the Creator of the universe, and you have plan for humanity, please overlook our disobedience and come to our rescue. You are our refuge, a very present help in trouble.