April 21 I Wednesday
2 Samuel 12-13
“Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne.” —Genesis 16:15
When we stray away from trusting God to bring about His promises in a miraculous way and take matters into our own hands, we learn some painful lessons through our disobedience. Yet, what we can be encouraged by is that even in the midst, God continues to step in and redeem the situation. We see this with God’s encounter with Hagar, as well as Abram and Sarai.
No matter what circumstances we face, we are called to live in faithfulness and obedience to the One who called us. For Hagar, she was faithful and obedient to what the angel of the Lord told her to do—“Go back to your mistress and submit to her” (Genesis 16:9). Even though Hagar’s situation seemed bleak, she returned full of newfound hope rooted in the God who saw her and the name of the son she was carrying. The angel of the Lord told Hagar, “You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery” (Genesis 16:11). The name “Ishmael” means “God hears.” When Abram named the son Hagar bore “Ishmael,” it was a powerful moment for the whole family. The name “Ishmael” will forever be a reminder to Abram and Sarai that He is the God who hears their misery.
In times when we are struggling to trust in God for something to pass, may we worship Him as we wait, cry out to El Shaddai who is the God over everything and know that El Roi is the God who sees our distress, shame and misery. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
Some of us may have taken matters into our own hands and we are living with the painful reminder and consequences of our poor choices. The good news is that we are never too broken and lost for redemption. We are all messed up, we cannot save ourselves and we cannot bring about the promise of God by our best efforts. This is why Jesus came to rescue what was broken inside all of us. If we ever have doubts about His concern for us, just look to the cross. The God who sees every person who had ever lived, is living and will ever live, is the same God who hung from the cross declaring, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
When we think of the name “Ishmael,” may we not remember it only as a consequence of Abram and Sarai’s transgression, but let it be a reminder to us that we have a God who hears.
Prayer: Dear God, You are the God who hears my hurt, my pain and my misery. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins. Praise You!