i will make of him a great nation

So she said to Abraham, “Send this servant away with her son! This servant’s son won’t share the inheritance with my son Isaac.” (Genesis 21:10 CEB)

I couldn’t write about this reading yesterday. There was far too much. I think I will write more blog posts on this story. How can I let the sacrifice of Isaac just go by? But how can I just respond off the cuff? So, today, I will focus on Sarah and Hagar.

At Trinity Aurora, where I serve,  we are in the midst of a preaching series called, “Hope in Uncertain Times”*. This reminds me of this family. Talk about uncertain times. All the journeying, famine, this growing family with a very uncertain future. No wonder Sarai wants to ensure security for the one son she never imagined she would conceive, with the fierceness of a mother.

We are also living in very uncertain times. Our instinct, especially with our current financial insecurity, is to focus on ourselves, our savings, making sure we maintain as much stability as we can.

God understands Sarai’s fears as well, and not only assures Abram, but protects the victims of Sarai’s insecurity. God follows Hagar and Ismael into the desert and saves them from death. They are not only saved, but they are made secure, as Ismael marries.

Two nations, two families, struggling to trust a God whose plans are elusive. God works in the uncertainty and creates security and family.

*You can read and listen to our preaching series at Trinity Aurora’s website. I’ll be preaching on Guilt and Self-Doubt on Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 8am, 9:15, 11:00 and 4:30. 

Day 8: Genesis 21:1-22:19

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