I was reading an article in Christianity Today. It was talking about Adam and Eve. It mentioned that part of the consequence of sin was banishment.
JtM is working on a sermon for Sunday. One of the lectionary readings that he has chosen to use is the story of Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 21:8-21).
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.Hagar and Ishmael were banished as well.
I've never paired the two incidents together.
- Both were banished as the result of sin -- obviously for Adam and Eve, but also for Hagar and Ishmael. Sarah became impatient with God (not that Abraham was blameless). Then, when Issac was born, she doubted the abundance of God.
- Both Adam and Eve and Hagar and her son were banished, but none of them were separated from God. God went with them.
I also think that it is interesting that Ishmael comes back when his father dies in order to bury him (Genesis 25:8-10). Do you wonder why he did that? Why would Ishmael come back to bury a father who deserted him -- really leaving him to die?
I wonder if there are a couple of lessons in this for us. We are banished, and yet God is with us. He does not leave us alone, even in our sin. If we let him, he will change us. He will make the impossible, possible. We will be transformed by grace.