LAUGHTER FOLLOWED BY A DISMISSAL

Abraham smiled broadly as Jesus approached.

Jesus’s smile was just as big. “So, how’s that baby boy doing?”

“He’s just finishing up another feeding. Sarah will let us know when they’re done.”

One of Sarah’s servant girls walked out of the tent and tied the flap open. She bowed to the men before she went back inside.

Abraham tied the other flap open. “I’m sure they need some fresh air in here. Isaac is quite the tooter.”

Jesus chuckled as He followed Abraham inside.

Abraham stepped aside when he approached Sarah. “We have a special guest, my dear.”

When Sarah saw Jesus’s smile she broke out in laughter.

Jesus came over and pulled the blanket back from Isaac’s face. “How’s our son of promise doing today?”

Isaac grabbed Jesus’s finger, then passed some gas.

Everyone laughed.

Sarah laughed longer than anyone else. “I can’t stop laughing. Thank You for this son. Who would have said Sarah would nurse children in her old age. Yet, here I have Abraham’s heir as my own son.”

Jesus stood back. “I’m not at all surprised by this. Make sure Isaac passes the importance of this miracle down to future generations. They must hear of it often.”

Isaac squirmed, moaned and passed more gas.

When Sarah and Abraham looked back at Jesus He was gone.

****

A few years later Abraham threw a great feast in celebration of the weaning of Isaac. The air was filled with laughter and cheer.

Isaac rarely left Sarah’s side as guests from all over gave their congratulations to the family.

Ishmael snuck behind Isaac and poked him in the ribs with a stick. “What’s the matter? Momma’s boy can’t walk all of a sudden.”

Isaac held his side. A tear rolled down his cheek. “Oww.” He stood closer to his mom.

Ishmael rubbed his stomach. “I bet you can’t eat as much meat as me.”

Sarah looked around for Abraham. He was laughing with guests near his tent.

Hagar walked over to her son.

Sarah glared at her. “I wish you’d control your son better. He has no right treating Isaac that way.”

Hagar raised her eyebrows. “Oh, lighten up old woman. Boys will be boys. Get over it.”

As Hagar and Ishmael walked away Sarah got Abraham’s attention.

Abraham approached his wife and son with a smile. “What is it my dear. Are we ready for our guests to leave? I was thinking of asking them to spend the night.”

Sarah pointed at Hagar and Ishmael. “Those two have to go. That slave’s son shall not share in the inheritance with my son.”

Abraham looked at Ishmael, then back at Sarah. “But, he’s my son. I can’t just throw him out like yesterday’s trash just because you had a son, too.”

Sarah folded her arms and stared at Abraham.

After a silent minute Abraham turned away and dismissed his guests.

****

Abraham spent the night pacing in his tent contemplating his options.

God’s voice was clear. “Listen to Sarah. She’s right this time. There must be no confusion as to who receives the blessing and the land. Don’t worry. Ishmael shall become a nation as well because he’s your son, too.”

First thing in the morning Abraham filled a skin with water and draped it on Hagar’s shoulder. He handed Ishmael some food he packed for them.

A tear rolled down his cheek. “You must leave here. God has promised me our son will be fruitful. It won’t be easy, but you’ll survive.”

When they walked away Abraham returned to his tent.

********

Every family longs for an heir to pass the traits and distinctions down to future generations. In most societies a son passes the name along with all the other obligations. First-born sons were given the honor of this honor most often.

When God’s promise seemed to have taken too long Sarah used an accepted practice of her day to fulfill the role of a son to Abraham. When God’s promise came on His timetable Sarah’s son became THE son to pass all Abraham had to.

To avoid future confusion and possible contamination of the inheritance Sarah demanded Ishmael leave. Abraham had spent over a decade developing Ishmael into his rightful heir. How could he just let him go?

While wrestling with his dilemma God answered Abraham’s petition. “Let Ishmael go.”

I’m sure Abraham thought this would be the most difficult thing God would ever ask him to do.

God remained this extreme with future descendants. Remember? Joshua was told repeatedly to annihilate entire cities’ worth of people in conquest of the promised land.

Why?

It’s the same reason God had Isaac’s son and grandchildren taken to Egypt and left there for over 400 years.

God’s people are called to be unique. Blending in with society around us isn’t an option.

Is there someone, or something, that you need to let go because they’re keeping you from following God completely?

Who you spend time with has a tremendous impact on who you become. Choose wisely.

What you listen to repeatedly forms your thoughts. Decide shrewdly.

How you spend your time tells a lot about your priorities. Prioritize well.

Drastic cuts may need to take place in your life.

Long-standing friendships may have to end.

Family members may have to take a back seat in your life.

You may not be able to cut some folks out completely, but you can reduce the amount of time they have in your life. Difficult discussion will need to be made.

If your job places expectations and demands on you that you know aren’t God-honoring you should think about a new employer. Hard choices need to come.

What you consume on your computer and/or phone should be in line with God’s Word. If you can’t control it then you should get rid of it.

Ishmael’s descendants impacted Isaac’s kids by taking Joseph to Egypt as merchandise to be sold.

Ramifications are in place, but the future is still forming.

Control it as best you can.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

I'm a truck driver turned writer. My writing drives people to Jesus.
I love sunsets/sunrises, dark chocolate, coffee, cats and dogs (as long as their owners pick up after them) and solitude. My relationship with God through Jesus Christ is most important to me, not a religion. This writing gig is all God's idea. I only wish to bring more attention to Jesus with it.