Genesis 21: 1-10….Delivered but not from jealousy

The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. So she 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.”

Comment: There is so much of their years of living together summarized in this passage. The sort of things that are common to human experience as we live in the ups and downs of life..

  • One has the Sarai with whom Abraham grew up – youthfully beautiful, tender in marriage, frustrated by infertility, foolish in having pushed another woman into Abraham’s bosom, having been caught by God when she laughed at his promised pregnancy but now laughing as she nurses her own baby.
  • Succouring her own son, after his circumcision, she sees Ishmael laughing – maybe at nothing but maybe at his little half-brother’s state as he remembers his own circumcision in early puberty. All the old jealousy and maybe feelings of inadequacy and guilt flood across her heart. And she pours her spite at Hagar and Ishmael over her husband and orders her ‘enemy’ out of her home – for the second time some dozen years after she, Sarah, had ‘forgiven’ Hagar and accepted her back into the family group.
  • She lets her bitterness sweep her joy under the carpet.

Prayer: Help me to be honest about myself as I kneel before You, LORD. May the Joy You give be a strong anchor in my life.

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