Nothing like a family feud.

Genesis 16:12 ” He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”

Abram and Sarai received the promise from the LORD that they would have a child through whom the nations of the earth would be blessed and from whom kings would come and through whom the Savior of the world would come. Rather than trust in the LORD to deliver on His promise, Sarai suggested that her servant girl bear them a son from Abram’s seed. The man took charge of the situation and produced a male heir, and the mother of the child despised Sarai because of her arrogance. The servant girl was could bear children whereas Sarai could not. The jealousy between the two ladies caused Sarai to drive Hagar from them and to wander alone out in the desert pregnant. God saw the situation and told Hagar not to worry because He would make a nation out of her son, but her son would be a wild man, who would cause trouble for everyone with particular hostility toward his brothers, including Isaac, who would rear Jacob (Israel) and father of the Jewish people.

The craziest thing in the world is that the biggest group of anti-Semites in the world are Semites! God foretold that Ishmael, the half-brother of Isaac, would be a wild man and cause trouble forever one particularly his brothers. Well, that prophecy has rung true in the Middle East. Now not every group that hates the Jewish people are of Ishmael’s descendants, but a vast portion of them do. You have to keep in mind that Ishmael would go on to later marry an Egyptian woman selected for him by his mother.

This brother more than likely grew up hating his half-brother for his exile and that of his mother from the family fortune. Remember that Abram was a wealthy man with lots of gold, silver and livestock. Ishmael grew up in this family for 14 years before Isaac came along. He was his dad’s son and rightful heir to the fortune, but God intervened and disallowed this move because His promise with Abram was through a child of promise not a child of man’s efforts. The Ishmaelites of the world suffer to this day as a looked-down upon people because of their father’s handling of the situation rather than trusting in God to deliver on His promise.

We need to learn from Abram’s mistake the importance of trusting in God to do what He said. If we look at the opening chapter of Genesis, we see at least six times where it reads, “Then God said…and it was so.” If God’s spoken Word can create the universe and everything in it, then His spoken Word will bring to pass what He dictates. Abram didn’t believe God at first and tried to force God’s promise that resulted in a family feud that exists to this day. Trust God when He says He will do something. There is no other way. There is a heavy price to pay for doing otherwise.

Father, thank You for showing me the reality of trying to force Your hand or forcing Your promises to come true. It is truly an exercise in futility. Help me to stay keenly aware of the fact that You do what You say You will do. You are the faithful God. Help me to not do what Abram did early on before he learned to trust in You and was renamed Abraham. You have promised me things in this life, and regardless of when and how long it takes, I will wait upon You and do what I am assigned in the here and now. You are all-wise and all-knowing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.