By Cheryl Stanton
As we have been reading, praying and repenting through the word, may our hearts become soft and filled with thankfulness for the mercy and love which God has extended to us.
In Genesis 21 Isaac is born ‘at the set time of God’ – Genesis 21:2 – and is circumcised at 8 days old. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born and Ishmael was 14 years old – refer Genesis 16:16 and Genesis 17:25.
Abraham arranged for a great feast when Isaac had been weaned which was most likely to be about 24 months or 2 years of age, although rabbinical understanding is a child could be weaned up to 4 years of age, or 5 years of age if the child was sickly.
Ishmael had a mocking attitude towards Isaac which resulted in Hagar and Ishmael being told to leave the camp. Abraham struggled to do this at first, but God confirmed this was to be done but God had a purpose for Ishmael and would make him a great nation. Ishmael was probably about 16 years of age or older. Genesis 21:9 – 14.
Hagar received the word of God regarding Ishmael becoming a nation and in their pain and rejection, God sustained them and created a nation from Ishmael.
Abimelech, the king of Gerar, territory of the Philistines, came to make a covenant of peace with Abraham which would be effective even to the grandchildren of Abimelech, for this king was concerned about the influence God had given Abraham and all those who were part of his group.
Abraham and Abimelech also agreed to Abraham having the rights to the wells dug by Abraham and seven ewes were given as a witness by Abraham to Abimelech for the well which had been dug. It is interesting that ewes were given because this would have represented the witness for the generations as ewes could become pregnant and birth for future generations. So they represented resources into the future.
This is the record of Abraham’s heart being tested by God when Abraham is required to offer his son, Isaac, as a burnt offering. Abraham is being asked to sacrifice or put to death all his hopes geared to the promise of God to bless all nations through Isaac. Abraham responded by going on a three day journey with Isaac and 2 young men. On the third day, Abraham tied the wood for the sacrifice onto Isaac, took his knife and fire and left the two young men behind. They climbed or walked to the set place required by God and Abraham built the altar and placed Isaac on it.
As they were on their way to the designated area, Isaac asked his father where the lamb was for the offering. Abraham’s response was God would provide the lamb. Only when Isaac is on the altar, the knife is raised, the fire is waiting, does God provide the ram.
Genesis 2:16-18 NLT “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”
Obedience to God aligned Abraham to the covenant of God and set a precedent for God to send His son at the appointed time and place for the redemption of generations and nations.
Father, I come to repent for myself and all my family generationally all the way back to Adam, and I am taking responsibility for every time and place we and I mocked you God. Made a mockery, despised, had contempt for what you were doing. In our hearts Lord, we allowed our pain and our emotions to rule us and we developed hard hearts towards you and towards your purposes.
Father, just like Ishmael mocked, despised and had contempt for Isaac and what you planned, so too in my generations I am guilty and repent of this wickedness against you Father. Where this transgression has led us to hardheartedness against you and opinionated in our self-justification, I repent.
I repent for the result of this transgressions against you have been an alienation from you. Please forgive me Lord, wash me, cleanse me of this iniquity. I am desperate for a renewed heart, a soft heart, a contrite spirit, Lord please transform me.
Lord, Isaac carried the wood for the offering, Lord, all the wood, hay and stubble in my life, please help me to identify what is offensive to you and to repent of these things until the ungodly patterns in my generations fall away and godly patterns are established. Help me Holy Spirit, to keep repenting and not to give up so that the purposes of God would be firmly and fully established in my generations for His glory.
Let me not grow weary of your processes of sanctification, Lord, let me not give up but to keep turning to you until the fullness of the purposes of Christ has been worked in me.
Abraham did not withhold his son as a sacrifice and the finished act of obedience brought about the precedent for you to send your Son as your sacrifice to redeem us back to you.
May the finished work of my life bring about all of your purposes for your kingdom in families, generations and nations in Jesus name. Amen