Posts Tagged ‘Ishmael’


Genesis 36:1-8 Now these are the records of the generations of Esau (that is, Edom). Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah and the granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite; also Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, the sister of Nebaioth. Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, and Basemath bore Reuel, and Oholibamah bore Jeush and Jalam and Korah. These are the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan. Then Esau took his wives and his sons and his daughters and all his household, and his livestock and all his cattle and all his goods which he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to another land away from his brother Jacob. For their property had become too great for them to live together, and the land where they sojourned could not sustain them because of their livestock. So Esau lived in the hill country of Seir; Esau is Edom.

When I read this chapter, I was left with amazement of how God truly blessed Esau even though he was not the one to receive Isaac’s blessing.

Clearly Esau was blessed with a lineage of great kings who ruled the lands around Israel and great wealth that was for all to see. What then is the point of Isaac’s blessing and where is Israel in all of this? (more…)


Genesis 28:1-4,18-22 So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. “Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham”… So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. “This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

What a volte-face for Jacob in terms of Isaac’s response to him and what a dramatic change in destinies! As we continue to journey with Jacob now, we see a new man.

Isaac blesses Jacob fully with the covenant blessing that was given to Abraham, his father and himself too.

Obviously the previous blessing Isaac had given to him thinking he was Esau was not as wholesome because both he and Rebekah were concerned for how Esau chose to live his life, forgoing his birthright, marrying Canaanites and living a carnal and sinful life.

The condition to the blessing however was the new life Jacob had to pursue by going away to Rebekah’s brother’s home in Paddan-aram and finding his own bride. That’s a contrast from what occurred in Isaac’s betrothal where Abraham’s trusted servant brought Rebekah from Laban’s home to Beersheba.

How could Jacob make a conditional covenant with God based on God’s provision to him? (more…)


Genesis 21:1-4,12-14,30-34 Then the LORD took note of Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him… But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. “And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba… He said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand so that it may be a witness to me, that I dug this well.” Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because there the two of them took an oath. So they made a covenant at Beersheba; and Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, arose and returned to the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines for many days.

Three major themes are in today’s chapter and as always, I recommend you read the entire chapter rather than just the few verses I’ve used to bring in the essence of the chapter.

First is the birth of Isaac, which was a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah, and their age did not come in the way of God delivering this bundle of joy at the right time, God’s perfect timing.

Next is the separation of Hagar and Ishmael from Abraham’s household and it seems rather cruel but God’s assured Abraham of Hagar and Ishmael’s welfare and therefore he goes ahead with it.

Lastly, the human covenant between King Abimelech and Abraham that gave Abraham the peace of knowing he was here to stay for a while and not move for a while.

What is God trying to teach us through the joyous birth, the painful separation and the peaceful covenant? (more…)


Genesis 16:2,4-9,13-15 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai… He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the LORD judge between you and me.” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence. Now the angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” Then the angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority”… Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?” Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.

We continue with Abram, who was found righteous in the sight of God, and note a new trial in his life. Sarai was barren and frustrated about not being able to provide Abram a child even though God had promised Abram that he would be the father of the nations.

Sounds like a problem we often encounter when we are waiting on the Lord for an answer to prayer and our reaction when there seems to be no answer.

Abram is obedient to his wife rather than his God but in washing his hands off from taking responsibility for his actions, he confuses us and Sarai’s actions make us all the more concerned as to God’s justice for the underprivileged.

Do we serve a just God and is his response fair? (more…)