A lot happening in these chapters: the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham once again passing his wife off as his sister (this time to Abimelech, king of Gerar), the birth of Isaac, and the sending away of Hagar and Ishmael. A couple of these stories – Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech & Hagar and Ishmael make an important point and sort of set us up for what follows. Like so many of us, Abraham was want to take matters into his own hands, scheme things out on his own, and attempt to reach his own desired outcomes. Instead of trusting God to keep him and Sarah safe and instead of trusting God’s promise of a son, Abraham did his own thing. I think many of us tend to live our lives as if God is there merely to pick up the pieces and do something good and marvelous, even miraculous, after we have made a mess of things. Oh, but to trust God and to live, moment by moment, by his good and wise counsel; well, that’s a very different sort of life. In fact, Abraham is about to discover that to rest solely upon God and to trust him is to live a life of great joy and hope. But that’s not until the next chapter in Genesis and an event that shows that Abraham finally arrives at a place in which he fully trusts God. God is faithful. We can trust him!
The God of Abr’ham praise
the God of all who roam
who guides us into foreign lands
and makes our home.
Though darkness shrouds our path
the stars as pledges shine
God’s covenant will be fulfilled
by love’s design. -- David Bjorlin (2019)