Yesterday I talked about what really happened when Eve decided to eat the forbidden fruit. Today we will look at how this continued on in the pages of Scripture, and we’ll look at the lives of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar. And we will see how idolatry is connected to that one choice made by Eve.
ABRAHAM, SARAH, AND HAGAR
Another story we have all heard/read…..but have we really seen what happened there? God promised Abraham a son. Abraham believed God. But the years passed by, and nothing happened. Sarah was barren. She was well past her child-producing years. Abraham was pretty old…..but still he believed God.
But then Sarah started reasoning with her own mind, and she decided that maybe God needed help with his plan to give them a son. Maybe it was up to them to fulfill this promise. Maybe they needed to come up with their own plan to make sure this happened.
Do you see where this thinking lead to? ISHMAEL.
A son? sure. The promised heir? Not really.
Ishmael forever represents a deeper spiritual truth—-he represents:
- A product of the human will
- What comes when we can’t wait any longer for God to move
- When we determine for God how He should fulfill His promises
- When we get a really great idea and execute it before ever asking if it was God’s idea or our own
- When we just want what we want and we do whatever we need to get it
- All the pain and destruction that I cause with my OWN hand and ways!
- The flesh—-the law—what is of earth
- The substitute for the promise of God
- What we rely on to deliver what only God can provide!!!
He is the opposite of God’s idea.
“WHAT WE RELY ON TO DELIVER WHAT ONLY GOD CAN PROVIDE”
This statement is the focus.
This is the connection between Eve and idols. Eve’s decision is connected to idolatry because just as she was convinced that God was holding out on her for something good, something that would give her knowledge that she would become like God—- we as women seek everything else except God to bring us real life; we chase after all this other stuff because we want things the easy way, but real Life does not come cheap—-We, like Eve and Sarah, take from the tree of our own understanding—-and we end up becoming ensnared and enslaved and in bondage to our idols—the things we seek and rely on to deliver only what God can provide!
Everything we try to do in our own will to satisfy us is ultimately chasing after other gods and idols.
- Sarah wanted a child.
- Abraham wanted a child.
- He was promised a child.
- But they became ::::impatient::: and took things into their own hands, and Ishmael was born from Hagar.
Things did not go so well as planned after that decision of the flesh:
- Hagar despised Sarah
- Sarah started dealing harshly with her, to the point that Hagar ran away, pregnant and alone
- Until God intervened and sent her back
- The child was born, and for all we know, 13 years went by
- and then Isaac was born
- And it was not long after that Ishmael started mocking Isaac
- and that is when Sarah told Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away
- because Ishmael represents the flesh, and the flesh has no inheritance in the kingdom of God, which is through the promised son-Isaac!
Twice Abraham sort of pleads with God for Ishmael:
- Once before Isaac is conceived….. Abraham desired that Ishmael would be the chosen.
- He wanted God to bless what he did in his own will and power.
- And then again when Ishmael was to be sent away, Abraham was grieved. We can sense that he loved his child, obviously.
- He loved this thing he had created in his own power.
- He wanted his own works to be right with God!
But God will not allow any flesh to glory in His presence. What is of God is born wholly of God. We can produce nothing apart from Christ. Our works are as filthy rags! We are unable to do or be or create or perform anything that God desires unless it is Himself doing it through us!
And what becomes of all our own ideas/plans/ways? BONDAGE.
In Galatians 4, Paul the Apostle reveals a spiritual truth about how Hagar stands for the children born of the flesh, and are now under bondage of the law. And how Sarah stands for the covenant promise and all who are born of her are after the seed of God.
And is it not true in our own lives?
THE UGLY TRUTH
I had to face this. When I was younger, I set out on my life journey to find what was going to make me happy. I was going to be so happy, so fulfilled, and I knew exactly what I needed to make that happen. I needed a husband, a child, and a home to stay at all day while I lived out the perfect family life, cleaning, cooking, and being unbelievably happy for the rest of my life! That was the answer to all my life problems! That’s what I needed in order to satisfy my heart’s longing. If only I could meet the man of my dreams, who was SO in love with me, he practically lived just to cater to my every need and shower me with affection and love all day everyday for the rest of my life! I needed someone who actually cared about me! That would make me SO happy!
And I set out to find my life in that. My everything would be found there.
Where did that lead me?
- In bondage with the assyrian enemy-my own real life Ishmael ( my son’s father)
- I was found in my early 20’s in an extremely unhealthy relationship with a person who is actually from assyrian heritage (descendents of Ishmael)
- and who had a nice time treating me like I was nothing special
- That lasted on and off fo 5 years of my life
But HE was the answer to my life!!! HE was the ticket into HAPPINESS! He was everything I needed to be fulfilled!!!!!!! I had to have him, because HE was the source of my contentment!
And when my idols of happiness and married life to this person didn’t seem to be panning out or happening like I thought they should, I took this matter into my own hands.
And in order to get what I always wanted, I lied to him about taking birth control, and I became pregnant.**** see note at bottom please!
- My son is the product of me taking things into my own hands.
- He is the child of my rebellion.
- He is the product of my own will.
- The consequence of my unbelief.
- The product of the idols of my heart.
Not only did that not go according to plan, I ended up a single mother for 5 years and only by the Grace of God I am what I am right now. I know God has ultimately used this for the good, but where am I today in terms of that?
BONDAGE. In bondage with his father.
But see, God had other plans. And even though like Eve and Sarah I have to suffer the consequences of chasing after other things that could never satisfy my heart and soul, God has allowed me to know and believe and understand that He alone is God. No one and nothing else in this world and in this life can ever fulfill the needs of my heart for life. Real life.
- And it was ironically in this incident that God thwarted my plans
- sovereignly over-rided my horrible decisions
- and He DID NOT ALLOW ME TO MARRY THAT MAN
- As much as I thought it would be the answer to all—–here I am 8 years later, and I know for a fact that had I married that man, I would not be where I am today
- God only knows where I would have ended up
- He sovereignly intervened in my life, before I ever knew Him, and He did not allow me to marry him because He has other plans
- That is our God. Wow.
BLESS THIS LORD!
And what have I been doing for 7 years? I have blindly been trying to construct the life I always thought I needed to be content in this life. It didn’t work out for me the first time I tried, so I had to try a new way to accomplish my goals. I would now have to find a father for my son, since the first plan didn’t go so well.
I have been praying to God to fix and make whole and right what was of my OWN WILL. I have wanted God to make it all better by giving me a husband anyway, and granting me a real family like I always dreamed of.
I will never have a real family, according to this earth. I will never get to experience being married, and having children with my own husband. I will never have the thing I thought I couldn’t live without. that hurts.
I ruined it by taking everything into my own hands. “Those who seek to save their life shall lose it”—The words of Jesus Himself ring in my ears forevermore. I sought to save and keep my own life and build it into what I wanted, and I lost it in the end. Now I can never have that “life”. This is what happens when we try to do things without His counsel. Without waiting for Him. Without trusting God. This is what happens.
When I finally got the thing I thought I wanted so bad, it turned out to be a lie. It did not deliver. It did not satisfy. It actually made my life a lot harder.
- Get married and have a baby in order to be loved and content in life
- Get pregnant in order to secure a marriage partner
- Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you
- Deny self and follow Christ
- Surrender all to Christ and let Him lead and guide your life into what He wills for you
My idea brings hardships, pain, suffering, loneliness, and bondage.
The life I wanted turned out to be no life at all.
The only real life is found in Jesus Christ, and laying down all our own plans/ways/ideas, and WAITING FOR HIM to lead us in life. Following His Word and seeking to be satisfied in Christ alone. That is where true contentment is found.
I pray that we would seek God with all of our hearts, and realize that this life is not our home, and the things we think will bring us life, the Lord will not allows us to find them. We will be thwarted in our efforts because our God is JEALOUS God!