CAN SOMEONE ELSE RUIN MY LIFE?
So she [Sarah] said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” Genesis 21:10-13
There are so many things that happen to me that tempt me to believe that my future is ruined. Betrayal, whether it be family or friend, can render me penniless and it would appear that I’ll never gain my financial footing again. Can a disowned son or daughter have a golden future? Does financial ruin write the end of my story?
And how about this? Does the demonic and emotional residue of abuse break me half? Do I believe I’ll never stand up straight again? The over-arching question is this, “Can God triumph over the cruelty of others?”
If there were victims in the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar, it would be Hagar and her beautiful son. As a slave, she took orders from her master’s wife to sleep with Abraham. Getting pregnant wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t her ambition for Abraham to father her child. She was wronged; no doubt about it, and her child bore the stigma of all children born outside of wedlock.
Ishmael watched the celebration of Isaac’s birth. He felt the favor of God on his half brother and felt his father’s joy over the promised child. Bitterness set in. When Isaac was weaned and a party was thrown in his honor, Ishmael mocked and laughed. In a swift overreaction, Sarah commanded Abraham to throw Hagar and Ishmael out of the house. Oh, the cruelty! If Sarah hadn’t instigated the plan of infidelity in the first place, she would have no ill feelings on this day toward Hagar. There would be no Ishmael to remind her of her fatal mistake. Instead of bearing up well under the consequences, she threw family out of her camp.
Does God triumph over cruelty, over rejection, over injustice? Oh yes. Though it appeared to be the end for Hagar and her son, God saw her plight and pledged His blessing. They would not starve and die in obscurity. God would bless them in spite of the wrong done against them.
How many times have I thought, ‘This is the end!’ But You’ve turned all ends into beginnings. Oh, how mighty You are. Amen