The story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar is well known. The record in Genesis 21:9-21, states how Abraham was instructed to send Hagar and Ishmael away. This was a grievous thing to Abraham but he obeyed the Lord. Hagar and Ishmael wandered into the wilderness where Abraham’s provision of water ran out causing distress.
Genesis 21:15-20, “And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
And she went, and sat down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot:for she said, “Let me not see the death of the child.” And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice and wept.
And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, “What ails you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.
Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in your hand; for I will make him a great nation.
And God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water, and she went and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad to drink.
And God was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness and became an archer.
The Lord saw and heard Hagar weeping and sent an angel to minister to her and Ishmael in their distress. Their Heavenly Father saw their anguish and pain and reached down to them. What man (Abraham) had supplied ran out but the love of God made provision for Hagar and Ishmael.
Consider: Until you meet the impossible, you do not touch the resources of God.
Verse 17 declares that God ” heard the voice of the lad WHERE HE IS.” The love of God meets us where we are. We have all “birthed Ishmaels” at one time or another, trying to help God out and fulfil His promises to us. If God put us all out for “birthing Ishmaels” who would stand?
The love of God meets me where I am. When I slip back in my believing into law and legalism, His love reaches down and leads me back from erroneous ways of law to grace, from permission to divine purpose, from Ishmael to Isaac.
Ishmael was not the primary purpose of God, Isaac was, but God in His mercy, blessed Ishmael. He grew to manhood and had 12 sons but what God blesses, He does not necessarily sanction! Isaac was purpose, Ishmael was permission. God blesses me because it is His nature to bless, He loves me, He is my Heavenly Father.
In God’s love and mercy Ishmael was blessed, but his descendants today are the enemies of Israel. Birth settles destiny!
God uses “ways and means.”John 9:6 records when Jesus healed the blind man with mud and spittle, He could have just spoken a creative word. However, He used a neutral thing to bring about a supernatural effect. Thus we do not despise the “ways and means” God uses for they are part of God meeting us, out of His great love for us, where we are.
Every person during their lifetime is given opportunity to turn to God by choice. “…The true Light which lights every man that comes into the world.” John 1:9
You and I are the design of Deity, part of that design is choice which is our privilege.
Jesus said, “I and My Father are one.” Oneness is greater than unity. At our salvation God placed His seal of recognition upon us – we are hallmarked of God! The love of God is His signifying hallmark, but love seeks the wealth of another in expression: “For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son…” John 3:16.
We all enjoy receiving the love of God but it is only when we engage with God that we relate to others and give it away. Christ in me is the Living Well of Salvation. Jesus promised that “out of our bellies would flow rivers of living waters” – to others! If I do not share the love of God with others I hide in my doctrines and dry up. So many doctrines of men separate and marginalise people, but God’s love does not.
None of us has yet experienced or entered into all the fullness of God and His love, our birthright. I can only receive it by the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ within me will release His love to others. If my beliefs, doctrines and revelation do not produce an expression of the love of God to others, then my life is ineffective. God’s love is my identity and hallmark.
Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:17-21 is current for every Believer “throughout all ages, world without end.”………
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we may ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen