16 She then went and sat down opposite him, at a good distance away, about the span of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not witness the death of the child.” And as she sat across from him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, saying, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
Addressing the subject of sovereign will is undeniably challenging. How do we reconcile our notions of fairness with God’s choices, even if it means rejection for an individual or a nation? What can we comprehend about His regard and disregard?
In today’s world, modern man has more than a mere bone to pick; the current culture is seething with rage towards God. Who does He think He is, anyway? What entitles Him to define what is good, bad, or ugly? Aligning with God has been wrongly equated with embracing hate. Boundaries, considered cruel by some, are now vehemently rejected in a culture that champions the uninhibited expression of one’s own truth, as if truth itself is subjective.
Yet, the true cruelty lies in our derision towards God’s sovereignty. In our rebellion, we are left to worship ourselves and the dark forces that dwell within us. Our capricious thoughts, emotions, and desires become our deities, but they prove to be merciless taskmasters. We are never satisfied, endlessly tossed about by our own unfulfilled and tormented needs.
Ishmael was not the promised son; that title belonged to Isaac. The pain of that distinction was acute then and still lingers today. The boundaries cut deep, causing anguish. The descendants of Ishmael still bear the weight of their rejection. We cannot be what we are not. However, if we listen attentively, we, like Hagar, can hear the voice of the Lord. He meets us in our desolate wilderness, bringing healing to the wounds we endured. We cannot become what we are not, but we can authentically present ourselves before Him. There, we will find His blessing.
Even in a world that vilifies boundaries, the Lord remains steadfast in His decisions. No tantrum can sway His purposes on Earth. We have the choice to soften and adapt, or we risk becoming hardened and broken. We cannot become what we are not, but we each have a place before the Lord who made us. We each have a purpose in His sovereign will.