Prayer Journal – To begin your daily worship today, grab a pen and paper and write out a prayer to God. Give thanks to God for all that He gives. And then finish with supplication – with your prayer requests to God. When you are done, tuck this away somewhere (so you can read it later and see how God has answered your prayers) and then move into hearing from God through His Word.
For more help use this Bible Study method
Arms Wide Open
by Judy Webb
12 This is the account of the family line of Abraham's son Ishmael, whom Sarah's slave, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham.
Ishmael was Abraham's firstborn, but not the child promised to him and Sarah, for she took matters into her own hands, disregarding God's promise. The birth of Ishmael caused much unrest around the campfires in those days. But, I have always acknowledged that no child is a mistake.
The drama tends to happen when we try to do God's job. When we ignore God and move forward on our own, trouble is certain to make an appearance. Do you understand what I mean? Things often end badly, resulting in unnecessary pain and heartbreak.
17 Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died...
Ishmael's life was fraught with rebellion and hostility. Can this be attributed to his rough beginning? His roots? After all, he was an innocent child, the product of his father's impatience and perhaps unbelief, but no fault of this young baby.
An angel appeared to Hagar after giving birth and said,
"He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." (Genesis 16:12)
Wow, talk about being doomed from the beginning. But think, aren't we all products of our environment? Aren't many of the problems we faced in our lifetime the result of someone else's disobedience? When I consider my early years, I know this to be true. And while I resented my upbringing for years; it is true I would not be who I am today if not for my past struggles. I know my children and some of their challenges are a result of their childhood years.
18 And they lived in hostility toward all the tribes related to them.
Maybe Ishmael's rocky start never brought him to reconciliation with his upbringing. What about you? Me? I can say God took me to my knees and revealed how good life would be when I submitted to his will and pursued a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus. He threw the doors wide open and I stepped right into His arms. You could too.