Sunday School Material 10-20-13: Blessings for Ishmael and Isaac

(Genesis 21:12-14, 17-21; 26:2-5, 12-13; 10/20/13)

Introduction::A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is God provides for both Ishmael and Isaac. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to trust and obey God with confidence that He will take care of His own.

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Body:

Read Genesis 21:12-14, 17-21

I. Promises for Ishmael. In our Sunday School material Abraham is distressed about the tension in his family. God assures Abraham that it is going to be alright. Abraham sends Hagar off with some light provisions and his son.

The mother and son end up in the Desert of Beersheba. God sends an angel to minister to the boy through his mother. The boy becomes an archer. His mother gets him a wife from Egypt.

Applications -

- God’s response to our distress. Notice in vss. 12-13 that God has a plan that accounts for the distress that is caused by sin and mistakes. It was a sin and mistake for Abraham to have sex with Hagar.

This sin led to his being distressed. But God had a plan to work things out for the good of His people.

In like manner, God doesn’t abandon us, when our sins get us into rough spots. On one hand, we should work on avoiding sin.

But on the other hand, we should work on trusting God, even when we sin and find ourselves distressed by the consequences. Let’s work on trusting God’s care, when our sins led to our distress.

- Discerning and obeying God’s will. Notice in vs. 14 of our Sunday School material that Abraham obeyed God’s instruction to send Hagar and their son away. On one hand, we should commend Abraham’s obedience.

On the other hand, we should not assume that it is always God’s will to send a woman and baby away.

In fact, it is often God’s will for fathers to at least pay child support. Let’s seek the discernment and spiritual courage to do God’s will today. Prayerful study and obedience with the support of other believers can help us carryout this application.

- Water in dry places. Notice in vs. 19 that God provides in a mysterious way. Was the water always there and it was simply revealed to Hagar, in our text?

Or did God provide water that was not previously there? Whatever the case, God provided water to what appears to be a desperate Hagar and son.

In like manner, God is able to mysteriously provide what we need, especially when we trust Him with obedience and cry out to Him, in our times of need. Let’s work on trusting the mysterious provision of God.

 - Ministering to our young people. Notice in vss. 20-21 that God was with the boy. The boy became a skilled archer. And his mother helped him find a wife.

First, we should do all that we can to make sure our children, specifically our sons have a close relationship with God. Family and church should work together to do what they can to make this happen.

Second, we should help our young people develop a trade and or body of knowledge that will lead to their independence and contribution to society. High school is a good start, but trade schools, college, and/or the military are often needed as well.

Third, we should help our young people with mate selection. Pre-arranging marriages would not work for most of us.

However, we can still help by teaching our young people about how marriage is a life long commitment and therefore more has to be considered than physical attractiveness and finances.

Character is so important. Let’s work on helping our young people develop a relationship with God, a means of taking care of themselves, and some wisdom regarding mate selection.

Read Genesis 26:2-5, 12-13

II. Blessings for Isaac. In our Sunday School material the Lord appeared to Isaac with reassurance and instructions. Isaac is to stay in the land that he is in and trust God to work things out.

Isaac is a part of God’s promise to Abraham. Isaac planted crops and God provided a huge increase. Isaac became very wealthy.

Applications -

- God’s memory. Notice in vs. 5 that God remembers the faithfulness of His people. It is interesting that God talks about Abraham’s positives, instead of his negatives. In similar fashion, we should be thankful that God knows what we have done and why we have done such things.

Even when people don’t understand or have forgotten, God knows and remembers. Furthermore, our gracious God has a way of providing grace for our sins and shortcomings.

Grace should not be an excuse for willful sin, but it is good to know that it is available for our transgressions. Let’s live as if God remembers the faithfulness of His people. Such living should be known for faithful obedience to God’s will.

- Great blessings. Notice in vss. 12-13 of or Sunday School material that Isaac is richly blessed with fellowship with God and material blessings provided by God. First, the greatest blessing that we can have is to be in fellowship with God. Riches without God will leave us empty.

Second, God is able and willing to bless His people with more than they need, as He sees fit. God is not broke and doesn’t glorify poverty in His word. However, God supplies blessings and wealth according to His timetable, which often calls for our faith.

Third, God is not as opposed to His people being very wealthy as He is with His people forgetting the source of their resources. Fourth, we should not over look the fact that Isaac did not simply name and claim his wealth.

We see in our Sunday School material that Isaac planted crops and worked the land. In like manner, we would do well to give attention to our financial stewardship and occupational priorities.

Let’s work on obeying God with confidence that He will take care of His own according to His will.

Conclusion: Let’s work on trusting and obeying God with confidence that He will take care of His own. God has much for those who obey His will.

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