January 9, 2011
“ 9But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”
11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.” (Genesis 21:9-13) NIV
It is never easy to let go of those things we love and what we have grown accustomed to. Whether we are talking about material things or toxic relationships, there is something in the soul of man that hates to let go of certain things even when those things are damaging to us. As we read this story told in these verses of Genesis, and especially for us parents, it is easy to sympathize with Abraham and his pain of having to let his son go. It is easy also to take these verses out of context and miss the true meaning behind it. Isaac represents the following of the Spirit; it is indeed where the promise of God is. Ishmael represents the flesh, our own doing, selfish decisions, sin, etc.
The flesh will always mock the things of God and will always come against the promises of God for our lives. Even as we receive certain blessings in the flesh, the flesh will never inherit the fullness of what God has for us. The flesh is able to do things, too; there are plenty of millionaires and highly educated people that publically hate God. Obviously, they are not operating in the Spirit, but God also spoke a blessing for them to carry through even as they will never give glory to God. Abraham found himself in a position where he needed to let go and, like many of us; he struggled with that. However, God personally intervened and told him. If we find ourselves distressed about letting go of something that is a product of our flesh, God is saying: “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman…” As painful as it may be, beloved: It is time to let go!