When you are barren …

Genesis 25:19-21 records of the generations of Isaac, through his wife Rebekah, who was blessed to be the mother of millions by her family when she left them to join Isaac (Genesis 24:60). Except there was one problem – Rebekah was barren. So Isaac pleaded (intreated) to the Lord for his wife and the Lord heeded to his prayer and Rebekah conceived.

There are two vital lessons that we can learn from this account. First, when we are barren, we need to seek the Lord and pray / plead to him. Second, our prayers (requests) must be in line with God’s will. God’s will and blessing was to continue the line of Abraham, not through Ishmael, the son of a bondwoman (Hagar), but through Isaac, the son of the free woman (Sarah). If Rebekah had remained barren, God’s word would not come true (at least in a logical physical sense). God’s word always comes true and as Isaac prays to God, he was in essence praying for God’s will to come true, which is what happens.

Points to ponder:
Though we should be hard working, when we are barren, we need to seeking God first and plead to him to bless up. Work hard, but only after prayer. Seek God’s Kingdom first and all things shall be added unto us (Matthew 6:33), according to God’s permissive will and pleasure. In other words, seek God first and see him turn your barrenness into blessings. Second, when we pray, let us pray so that the Lord’s will is done in our lives and not just give him a wishlist of our own heart’s desires. Are you barren? (in life). If so, you know what to do. Tarry no further.

Genesis 25:19-21
19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:
20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
21 And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

Prophesy of God always comes true

Genesis 25:12-18 lists the names of the sons of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bore unto him. Ishmael had twelve sons, Nebajoth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadar, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah, who were princess with nations (Genesis 12:16). Ishmael lived 137 years, and died in the presence of his brethren. While this account may seem as a listing of the names of the sons of Ishmael, it is important to note two phrases in these verses – phrase one, ‘twelve princes according to their nations’ and phrase two ‘in the presence of all his brethren’, because both these are a direct fulfillment of God’s prophesy to Abraham about Ishmael (Genesis 17:20 & Genesis 16:12).

Points to ponder:
God’s prophesy will always come true – to the letter – and that is something we can count on.

Genesis 25:12-18 (KJV)
12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bare unto Abraham:
13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam,
14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa,
15 Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah:
16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.
17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.
18 And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren.

Genesis 17:20 (KJV)
20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

Genesis 16:12 (KJV)
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

Blessed by not where you are but Who is with you

Genesis 25:11 records that after the death of Abraham, God blessed his son Isaac, who dwelt by the well Laharoi – which means well of the Living One who sees me – named when Hagar, the Egyptian maid servant of Sarah, encountered the Lord whom she describes as the Lord who sees her in the midst of her despair. What is important to note is not where Isaac was, but who was with Isaac – it was God. It was not Abraham’s riches and all that Isaac had been given (which was everything Abraham had – Genesis 25:5) that is counted as blessings on Isaac, but it was God who blessed Isaac. This demonstrates that God is a Father to the fatherless, caretaker of orphans, whose unfailing love/mercy extends to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands (Exodus 20:6).

Abraham loved God, and God, though not obligated, true to his nature and word, returns the favor.

Points to ponder:
You may be in a point of despair in your life. You may be next to a well seeking waters of hope, but unless the Lord is with you, there shall be no blessings. It is not where you are that is as important, as much as Who is with you. Is God with you? He is the One and only true source of blessings. God wishes to be with you, but only if you let him. Is God with you?

Genesis 25:11 (KJV)
11 And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi.

Full of years

Genesis 25:7-10 records that Abraham lived one hundred and seventy years and then died in a good old age, and old man, full of years. His sons, Isaac and Ishmael, buried him in the cave of Macpelah, in the same field which Abraham had purchased from the sons of Heth, to bury Sarah his wife. While it is interesting to note that thou chronological Isaac was the second-born of Abraham, he is listed first before Ishmael in this account, to establish the fact that he is indeed the promised son, it is even more interesting to note that Abraham’s life is describe as “full of years”.

Oxford dictionary lists the phrase “full of years” as archaic and meaning “having lived to a considerable age”, but I believe that this extra qualification of “full of years”, besides good old age and old man, is given to help us recognize that only when our lives are full of faith and obedience to God, in offering all that we love, demonstrating our love for him, despite our shortcomings, only then can the testament of our lives being full of years be given to us, at lives end.

Points to ponder:
Abraham lived a life of faith, believing in God,offering whom he loved most, which was credited to him as righteousness and was counted as having a life full of years. Should the Lord tarry in his coming and we are at the end of our life, will it be said of us, that our life was full of years (because it was a life of faith, believing in him and obeying him, no matter what.

Genesis 25:7-10 (KJV)
And these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.
Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.
And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;
10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.

Sending Conflict away

Genesis 25:5 & 6 records that to Isaac, his promised son, Abraham gave all that he had, but unto the sons of his concubines, Abraham gave gifts and sent them away from Isaac his son. Abraham’s son, knew that there was a likelihood of conflicts to ensue between Isaac and his other step-brothers, probably because of his experience with Ishmael, the son he had through the Egyptian maid servant, Hagar. Ishmael mocked Isaac (Genesis 21:9) which was noticed by Sarah. Now, Abraham does not want to repeat that and so he sends his other children away to protect his son, Isaac, because he loved him. If only his grandson, Jacob had followed suit, the conflict between the brothers of Joseph and Joseph may have been curtailed, though we learn later that it was God’s sovereign design for that conflict between Joseph and his brothers to happen.

Points to ponder:
We see that because Abraham loved his son, he sent potential conflict away. While we can learn this concept of avoiding conflict for our personal and professional lives, we must not fail to recognize how great God’s love was and is for us. For we learn from the scripture, that because God our Father, loved us so much, he sent his only begotten Son, whom he loved and with whom he was well pleased, not away from conflict, but right into conflict – to redeem our souls from the devil. Greater love, God had for us than anyone else, even while we were sinners and enemies of God.

God loved you and me so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, into conflict for us. Are you and I willing to love God in return and submit to the Spirit of God that is in conflict with the flesh?

Genesis 25:5-6 (KJV)
And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.

All that he had, he gave

Genesis 25:1-4 records that after the death of Sarah, Abraham married for the second time and this time he marries Keturah, and lists out the six children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren, through Keturah. Immediately following this genealogical account, the Bible records that “And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.” In other words, the promised son, who was offered up to be sacrificed, gets everything from the father.

Though cursorily, it may seem like just a gesture that a father would do for his son, this account, I believe, illustrates an ever greater hidden truth – the account of Jesus, the promised Son – God’s promised Seed through the line Abraham (Genesis 3:16; Galatians 3:16), who willingly submitted himself (John 10:18) and was offered as the only acceptable sacrifice (Hebrews 10:1-8), getting everything from God the Father (Hebrews 2:8; Matthew 28:18).

Points to ponder:
All that God the Father had, including his Only begotten Son, Jesus, he gave for us, for he loved us and did not want us to perish (John 3:16). Jesus willingly submitted to God the Father’s will, and became the only acceptable sacrifice to God the Father, for us, which appeased and pleased God (Isaiah 53:10).
All that God the Father had, he gave to his Son, Jesus. In other words, everything belongs to Jesus. The questions that cannot go unanswered then is – Do you? Do you belong to Jesus? Have you believed in him and accepted him as your Lord and Savior and King? Do you belong to Jesus?

Genesis 25:1-5 (KJV)
Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.
And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.
And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

The Firstborn

Reuben Paul - FamilyReuben, our firstborn turned 10 on January 20, 2016 and we penned a poem (actually prayer) for him.
Our prayer for you and your loved ones is this as well. Read and be blessed.

Reuben Paul, our firstborn, today, you turn ten
and while we have over a myriad things to pen
we’d like you to know that for the first time, when
we held you in our arms, we knew, you were a special gift for us from heaven

As our firstborn, we can most assuredly say, ‘We couldn’t ask for more.’
‘A loving son & a wonderful brother that you are!’, we see as your core
‘An example of loving God, to whom, you desire all men to restore.’
‘Be ye always steadfast looking on God’s firstborn’, we implore.

You remind us each day that, to us, you are the Father’s gift
and in every public address, his Name and his Son you lift
so in the years to come, we pray, God’ Spiritual armor, ye fit
fighting the good fight, keeping the faith and to God’s will, ye submit.

God sent his Firstborn to save all mankind
for this generation was, and is, perverse and ignorantly blind
‘Beware of the pleasures of this world’, our son, ‘that would subtly you entwine’
and run to the Lord and only to him, bind.

Reuben Paul, our firstborn, today you turn ten
and while we have over a myriad things to pen
we’d like you to know that for the first time, when
we held you in our arms, we knew, your were God’s gift for us and to all from heaven.