ISHAMEL AND ISAAC
Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Galatians 4:22, 23
Ishmael was the result of a resort to the flesh, proposed by Sarai when God had already promised a son by her. To this day Ishmael and Isaac war in Arab and Jew. Any scheme of our own that takes matters in our own hands when God has spoken otherwise leads to plenty of trouble.
How many today live with war in their hearts because that which is of the flesh contends with that which is of faith! Call it inhibitions, complexes, neuroses, dress it up in psychiatric verbiage, it is but Ishmael and Isaac warring in the soul.
Abraham gave up Ishmael and he never returned. He gave up Isaac but God returned him. Give God your Ishmael – all that is of the flesh – that it may not return. Give Him Isaac too – that which is of faith – that He may return it sanctified and meet for the Master’s use.