Shepherd Daily Devotional – The “Ishmael” Strategy – 2

“One could say that Abraham’s decision to have a child with Hagar was an attempt to help God fulfill His word.”

Written By Ben Dankaka

Meditation – Genesis 16:4

God did not only tell Abraham that he would be a father of many nations. He followed up that promise with a covenant. In other words, God made an agreement with Abraham and then sealed it with His word. This contract was actually made on the day Abraham cried out to God and demanded to know how God’s promises will be fulfilled in his life. In response, God had asked Abraham to present a heifer, a goat, a ram, a dove and a young pigeon for a sacrifice (Genesis 15:8-9). On that fateful day, God made a pact with Abraham. Obviously, the purpose of that covenant was to reaffirm God’s commitment in fulfilling His promises to Abraham. God had wanted Abraham to feel confident that he would surely have a son through whom the prophecy will be fulfilled. Normally, Abraham should have gone to sleep after that event. But he didn’t.

When Abraham agreed to have a child with Hagar, he tampered his agreement with God. By following his wife’s advice, Abraham ignored the terms of agreement. One could say that Abraham’s decision to have a child with Hagar was an attempt to help God fulfill His word. Since the promised child wasn’t forthcoming, they decided to have a child anyhow. When Sarah asked Abraham to sleep with her maidservant, the plan was to build a family through Hagar. Although their strategy bore Ishmael, it backfired in the end. Interestingly, what the old couple tried to do is exactly what we often do in our walk with God. Oftentimes, we begin our journey with God, with high hopes and commitment. But when things don’t work out as we expect, we allow doubt and other people’s opinion to get in the way. Please don’t sleep with Hagar. Wait on God!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I will wait on you. Amen.

REFERENCES/FURTHER STUDY: Genesis 15:1-10; Genesis 16:1-3

Unless otherwise stated all scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version.

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