By Dr. Zane Brown
re you reading the Bible through with me? Grab your pen and journal, and get ready to write your thoughts as you journey through the Bible with me.
Read Genesis 16-18. Did you know that Islam believes that Ishmael was the son of promise?
God had promised Abram that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Later, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah to show that if allowed, He would be in control of their lives and bless them beyond their wildest dreams.
Abraham believed everything God said to him. But what about Sarah? She had not been able to have a child up until that point in her life, and though she had faithfully prayed about it, no pregnancy had resulted. Instead of waiting on God and His promises, she decided to hurry things along. A custom of that time is that a childless wife could give a servant to her husband and birth a child from that relationship. The wife could then claim the child as her own. So Sarah, thinking she had a better way than God’s way, and being impatient, followed through with her idea. But then jealousy erupted and because of the consequences of her sin of working against God on her own, life in the world changed forever. The result of that tragic union is evident even today with the hatred between the Islamic and Jewish people in the Middle East. If only she had waited on God and His plan.
God provided for Ishmael and his mother Hagar in spite of Sarah’s meddling. But the consequences were dire and have affected life today. What would the Middle East be like today if Sarah had not interfered with God’s plans?
My wife and I prayed for ten years about a problem that concerned us. Someone else intervened, rushed things, and it was a disaster. It took ten years for God to answer us, but boy, was it worth it when He did!
Have you grown impatient with God because He hasn’t answered you as fast as you would like? Have you been tempted to hurry God along and do things your own way? List those requests you have made known to God.
Now write down your promise to Him that you will patiently wait for Him to answer your prayers.
Pray: Lord, forgive my impatience. I know that You have a better plan than I do, and I promise to patiently wait on You, as You work out Your perfect plan for my life. A-men.
Dr. Zane Brown
Retired Associational Missionary for Colleton Baptist Association of Churches
Teaching Pastor at Nova Church