Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thoughts on Romans 9:8-9 (click here for Net Bible)

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?


Anonymous said...

It was a day of trusting. In the busyness of the day the two things that came to mind were that my citizenship is in heaven and to set my mind on things above & not on the things of this earth. That perhaps sounds too simple but in the hectic pace of the day it truly helps keep me focused...less impatient...impatience generally makes us use plan B. Diane T.

Mark Forstrom said...

Your devotional made me think about how Islam (which traces its roots back to Ishmael) is about works. Accomplish the Five Pillars of Islam (fasting during Ramadan, alms for the poor, pilgrimage to Mecca, ritual prayers 5 times a day, and confession of faith) and and you'll be saved.