Grace Without Exceptions
Has anyone ever asked you this question: “Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?”
Most of us can think of circumstances in our lives when, if we had known the consequences at the time, we would have made different choices.
As I read Genesis 16 earlier this morning, I was impressed with yet another example of the grace and mercy of God. The story is that of Hagar, the Egyptian servant who was given by Sarai to Abram so that Abram could have the son that Sarai apparently couldn’t give him.
When the deed was done and the servant became pregnant, Hagar gloated, Sarai fumed, and Abram ended up sending Hagar and the unborn child out into the desert to fend for themselves.
Historically we know that from Ishmael sprang the Muslim nations (Genesis 12:8) who have been mortal enemies of the Jews, and just about everyone else, since then. This fulfills the prophecy of Genesis 16:12: “He [Ishmael] will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”
God saved Hagar and Ishmael from certain death that fateful day in the desert and sent Hagar back to Abram to live under his protection and to have her baby.
Some people may ask why God spared the life of a woman and a child when He knew what the result of sparing those lives would mean.
That’s the grace and mercy of God at work.We can hate Islam and despise Muslims (though none of us have clean hands, nor do any of us deserve the mercy of God). We wrongly judge the whole for the actions and attitudes of a few. But God teaches us a huge lesson here. If He, knowing the future, could still show His love and compassion as He did, can we do any less?