Summary: Most of us have experienced some type of dilemma and we’ve all dealt with dilemmas or circumstance or our own making. But the God of Glory is more than able to hear, help and to bring us out.
Gen. 21:1-3, 8-10,14-20
H Lee Clay
The word “dilemma” is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as meaning, “A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable;and a problem that seems to defy a satisfactory solution”
All of us at some point in our lives have had to deal with at least a few dilemmas. All of us
at some point or turn in our existence has dealt with “a problem that seems to defy a satisfactory solution” We’ve all dealt with dilemmas of circumstance or our own making.
You figured that you weren’t making as much as you could be on your job so you go out and get another one. You give your notice to your current employer that you are leaving, just to go to the new job to earn a little more money and five months later you get laid off because of downsizing and your old job doesn’t want you back. That’s a dilemma.
Most of us if not all of us have been either victimized by someone else that has created a
dilemma for us or we through acts of stupidity or poor judgement have created our own dilemmas. You choose from option A or B, but the fact remains that all of us have dealt with at some point in our lives with a dilemma!
The context of today’s message begins in chapter 16 of the Book of Genesis (turn). It is there that we first find the players in this divinely established drama that God wants to speak to our hearts from today.
Go to Gen. 16:1-12, (15 ISHMAEL — “God hears.”) ,16.
Why couldn’t God have fulfilled His promise to Abraham through Ishmael? Because Ishmael was not the son of promise—the son of faith. He was the son not of faith but the son -of flesh.
Many times we mess up and create many of our own problems simply because of our unbelief in God’s Word and His promises and call ourselves, “helping Him out” as did Sarah.
You couldn’t wait for God to bless you with your own man so you became “the other woman” in the hope that he’ll become your man. But now look at you. He doesn’t want you or the baby. And what has it produced? ISHMAEL!
The story continues in Gen. 18:1, 9-14 (exegete)
And as we come into our text in chapter 21 verses 1-3 (Elaborate)
Abraham and Sarah have their own child now. A son named Isaac, The promised child.
1. We see separation.
In verses 9 and 10 Sarah tells Abraham to, “get rid of Hagar and Ishmael”. And verse 14 says, “So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba.”
He gives to the both of them some “Wonder Bread” and some “Poland Spring water“. And said, “your outta here”. That’s what some of this world’s babies daddies will do too.
They’ll get back with the woman that they stood in front of the alter with and vowed to God, “For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part”. They’ll get religion, repent, get holy and kick you and your Ishmael to the curb!
Look around in urban America. Look around in many of our cities, our communities and our neighborhoods and you’ll find thousands of young black Ishmael’s in the wilderness of this world. Look on our corners; in the crack houses;
The dope houses and in front of the liquor houses and almost 700,000 black men or in the jail houses in this country on their way to the big-house all because they are in the wilderness. And the real crazy thing about it is now Ishmael who didn’t ask to be born is about to die!
2. We see desperation (Look at verse 15,16,)
“And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs. Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.” So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept.“
My heart goes out to Abraham. You see in ancient Semitic culture to be childless was a highly pitied and unfortunate twist of fate. He meant well.
My heart goes out to Sarah. She meant well. But it has been said, “that the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. My heart goes out to Hagar. She is a victim of circumstances that were beyond her control. But thank God that she chose not to remain a victim.