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Holy Trinity Puzzle

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God promised that Abraham would be the “father of all nations” and that this growth would begin with his own offspring. The problem with that promise is that he and his wife Sarah were old and she was past her child bearing years. In fact, when God told Abraham that he would have a son, Sarah laughed out loud. Sarah laughed not because she had a lack of faith but because she was 90 years old and thought it was funny that God would honor his promise at that stage in her life. Abraham and Sarah were forced to leave their home because of famine. Out of fear of Pharaoh, Abraham had Sarah pose as his sister and not his wife. Pharaoh took Sarah as part of his harem and in exchange gave Abraham a lot of wealth. God began to punish the entire household of Pharaoh with diseases of every kind. Abraham and Sarah told the truth and went back to Canaan. This solved their lack of food problems because Pharaoh allowed them to keep all of the wealth that had been bestowed upon Abraham.

In an effort to carry out God’s promise to Abraham, at first he and Sarah tried to provide the offspring on their own timetable. Because Sarah could not get pregnant, they thought that God must have planned to start his nation with Abraham as the father and someone else as the mother. In those days it was a custom if a woman could not have children for her husband to sleep with her maid servant and have a child with her. So, Sarah had Abraham sleep with her Egyptian maid servant named Hagar. Hagar did get pregnant and had a baby boy named Ishmael. Almost immediately there was friction and problems between Sarah and Hagar. Sarah was jealous that she did not give Abraham a son and was jealous of the attention that Hagar was receiving. Sarah was angry with Abraham for going along with the plan but she took it out on Hagar. Hagar fled the home but in obedience to God she went back to face the situation and to try to work things out with Sarah. For 13 years Abraham thought the birth of Ishmael was the fulfillment of God’s promise.

God then visited Abraham and told him that a year from that point Sarah would give birth to a son and they were to name him Isaac. This was the point that Sarah laughed but she and Abraham did have faith that God would carry out his plan and one year later she did give birth to a son. They named him Isaac, which means “laughter”.

Sarah ended up “firing” Hagar as her slave and made her take her son and leave the house. The Bible says that Hagar and Ishmael wandered in the dessert and were homeless but God provided for all of their needs. God promised Abraham that Ishmael would also be the father of a great nation although he was not to be Abraham’s heir. Ishmael fathered 12 sons who became leaders of warrior tribes.

They story of Abraham is one of trust in God and obedience to God. God had led Abraham throughout his entire life and he knew that God would protect him and keep his promises. God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations and God kept that promises. The key to the story of Abraham is that God keeps his promises on his own timetable. It is important for believers to let God work in his time and to not take things into their own hands like Sarah did and try to create that future. God will do it.

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