Everlasting Father

In Abimelech’s eyes, Abe has gone from despicable to respectable. Father Abe is over his entangling sin of intimidation by powerful men and complains to Abimelech that his servants have seized one of the wells he dug. The importance of wells in that desert area can’t be overstated. When we were missionaries, we lived on the provision of God, who sent us the rains and filled our cisterns. No rain meant that we were without water. So, no bathing, cooking, or cleaning. Water is a very precious commodity. Throughout history, it has been used as a weapon to cut off cities and open gates. General William T. Sherman’s memoirs contain an account of Confederate soldiers poisoning ponds by dumping the carcasses of dead animals into them. Water is valuable to all life.

Genesis 21:25-26~When Abraham reproved Abimelech…Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, and I have not heard of it until today. (ESV) Abe said we had a contract, you and I. Acceptance of the lambs is lasting proof Abimelech acknowledges the well belongs to Abe. Abraham names the place in Genesis 21:31~ Therefore that place was called Beersheba (בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע Bĕ’er Sheba`) because there, both of them swore an oath. (ESV) Beersheba, which means the well of a sevenfold oath. It stands as a lasting memorial that this well is his and brings peace between Abe and Abimelech. Abe, he could have just demanded the well, but he goes the extra mile to keep the peace. Demonstrating Romans 12:18~If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (NIV) What are you doing to keep the peace? This is not about letting the pot rumble until an explosion, it is about processing life as it comes, knowing the things that stir us up and navigating the moments that would spew onto others.

Genesis 21:33~Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God (יְהֹוָה Yĕhovah עוֹלָם `owlam). (ESV) This is the first time this name for God appears in the Bible. (יְהֹוָה Yĕhovah עוֹלָם `owlam) is the everlasting God, he is eternally the same. Places change, cultures change, people change, but God is immutable; He never changes because there is nothing in Him that can be improved He is perfect.

Our Takeaway: Have you called on the Everlasting God? (יְהֹוָה Yĕhovah עוֹלָם `owlam)He desires to move in your life today. It has taken Abe a long time to get here, a place where like Hagar, his eyes are open to God and His provision. Psalm 32:7~You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (NIV) Defeating despair requires that Walls are Torn Down by Remembering God can do anything, Refocus on obedience, as we Depend on God’s direction, and Rest in God’s protection. Why not open your eyes to the goodness of God in Jesus Christ.

Rest in His love

Have you ever looked up and had your eyes open to the answer of God’s provision? God spoke to Hagar through an angel in heaven, but most often God speaks to us today through His Word as the Holy Spirit stirs us. Therefore, when we read God’s Word or hear it taught, especially in our darkest days, we should pray the prayer of Psalm 119:18~Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. (NLT) God didn’t create a well of water; He simply opens up Hagar’s eyes so she could see what was already there. When we are in despair, we often do not see what God is doing or has done. Often we discover that God does not create something new to deliver us. Rather, He simply opens our eyes to the resources that are already available to us. 

Hear me, this doesn’t mean that miracles don’t happen, because they do. Yet, some of the best miracles that happen in our lives are when God opens our eyes to see that this moment, that was so long in making, was already seen by God who directed our path to His divine providence. Saints, God sees it all! As we read or hear God’s Word, He often simply opens our eyes to resources we do not see. When we are in despair and tearing at the walls we need to remember God’s truth in Psalm 145:16~ You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. (NIV)

Genesis 21:20~And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. (ESV) Now he has twelve sons Genesis 25:16~These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps. (ESV) His descendants live as nomads in the deserts of northern Arabia and become known as the Arab people. The Arab, Muhammad, founder and chief prophet of Islam, claimed descent from Ishmael. The animosity today between Israelis and Arabs can be traced back to Isaac and Ishmael. Thank you, Abe, for not trusting. Arabs believe God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled through Ishmael and his 12 tribes, while the Jews believe it was fulfilled through Isaac and his 12 tribes. Both recognize Father Abe as the father of their race. Walls Torn Down: is about defeating despair in our lives and it requires that we Remember God can do anything, that we Refocus on obedience, that we are diligently Depending on God’s direction, and that we Rest.

Rest in God’s protection (Genesis 21:22-34). The news of Isaac’s birth apparently reaches Abimelech, whom Abe deceived in chapter 20 by telling him Sarah was his sister. Knowing God was with Abe and would bless him, Abimelech makes a covenant for a harmonious relationship between them. Genesis 21:22-24~At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army said to Abraham, God is with you in all…therefore swear to me…by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my descendants or with my posterity…Abraham said I will swear. (ESV) 

Is God Fair?

In Genesis 21, Abe had to be obedient, even though from his point of view God was being unfair. One reason for our despair is often wondering why God allows life to be so unfair. When that happens, we need to remember Isaiah 55:9~As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (NIV) The Lord softens the blow by promising Abraham in Genesis 21:13~And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also because he is your offspring. (ESV) Knowing God would take care of them, Abe gets up early in the morning, gives bread and water to Hagar and Ishmael, and he sends them away (21:14). But, in his mind, Abe could just not connect what God was doing nor why. You and I have probably been to this lonely place where we lacked understanding and were required to walk by faith This is the spiritual truth we find in 2 Corinthians 5:7~for we walk by faith, not by sight (NIV) To defeat despair, it is necessary for the Walls to be Torn Down by Remembering God can do anything, Refocusing on obedience, and Depend.

Depend on God’s direction (Genesis 21:15-21) No doubt frightened, broken-hearted, Hagar and Ishmael depart into the desert, again. This time they did so under God’s provision. When their water runs out, Hagar has reached her limit, finding herself at wits-end she puts Ishmael under a shrub, goes a bowshot away and weeps. Genesis 21:17~And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. (ESV) Then comes one of the greatest verses in the Bible: Genesis 21:19~Then God opened her eyes (פָּקַח paqach עַיִן `ayin), and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. (ESV) The phrase (פָּקַח paqach עַיִן `ayin) God opened her eyes is so awesome because when things seem darkest. God opens our eyes to see His provision.