Genesis 21

Grace and faith, test #1.

Sarah’s distaste for Hagar flares again when Isaac is born, and Hagar is again sent away, to Abrahams distress. It’s clear that the lord looks after Hagar though.

Abraham makes an oath with the local king abimelech to live at a well he dug and not make trouble. Abimelech is aware that God is with Abraham, through the sister thing in the last chapter, probably.

He finally settles and lives there a long time.

Praying and thinking about evil today, after the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Abraham is deeply concerned when God, managing his domestic mess to a ridiculous degree, sides with Sarah’s somewhat cruel request to send away his illegitimate son and Hagar the slave.

The great patriarch appears to have an even greater matriarch in the wings, and the defence of “wasn’t the illegitimate son your idea in the first place?” doesn’t seem to be available.

Hagar is sent away with just a water skin to show for the whole experience, and we are told that the lord miraculously saves the child and he thrives, becoming an archer and getting an Egyptian wife in due course. But Abraham doesn’t know that.

All this messed-up family have to separate them from any other banal, messed-up family is chosen-ness, God’s grace dealing intimately with their situation, balancing everyone’s feelings and achieving his purposes.

Abraham responds with faith. His extraordinary faith will shortly be put to the test more spectacularly.

Grace and faith, or to put it another way, love from and to our heavenly father, its all we got.


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