Thursday, February 5, 2009
The contrast here is between Ishmael and Isaac, between the flesh and faith. Ishmael represents a person's self-efforts to achieve eternal life. Isaac represents a person's faith in God's promise that "whoever believes in Him [Jesus] will not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). By application, Ishmael symbolizes our self-efforts to accomplish God's plans in our time and in our way. Abraham and Sarah wanted to "help" God out since it was obvious God wasn't able to enable Sarah to get pregnant. So, they came up with plan B, and Ishmael was born by way of Hagar. This seems great except God rejected Ishmael as the son of promise. God's way was for Sarah to have a son by faith in Him that He would make it happen in His time and His way. Isaac symbolizes our faith walk with Christ where we obediently do what He asks and patiently wait for God to do His part. We don't have to force or manipulate in order to make God's plans happen. He is more than capable. Our role is to trust. Are you living this day in such a way that at the end you can look back and say that it was an "Isaac" day or an "Ishmael" day?