By Mary Vee
In our last story, Sarah saw Ishmael picking on baby Isaac. Ishmael was seventeen-years-old at this time and Isaac was three. Sarah told Abraham what she saw.
"Look, Husband, Ishmael can't be trusted. He could have hurt Isaac. He and his mother must go, they have to go now. I won't have him trying to take away Isaac's inheritance."
"Sarah, my lovely wife, be reasonable. Ishmael is my son."
Sarah went in the tent and refused to speak to Abraham the rest of the night.
While Abraham rested, God spoke to him. "Abraham, don't be sad about sending Ishmael and his mother away. You need to listen to Sarah. My promises to you will come to pass through Isaac. I know how much you love Ishmael. For this reason I will also make a nation from him because he is your son."
The next morning, Abraham awoke before the rooster crowed. He packed bread and water, visited Hagar and then went to Ishmael's tent.
"Ishmael, wake up."
"I must speak with you." Abraham sat on a nearby chair. "I just came from your mother's tent. I told her the message I received from God last night, now I must tell you."
"OK. What is it?"
"Well, you understand how I feel about obeying God's commands." Abraham picked up a stick from the floor and twirled it around in his hand.
"Yes. You obey God because you love Him."
"Very true. God has asked me to send you and your mother away from here." Abraham took a deep breath. "God said he would make a nation from you because you are my son; but I must first send you and your mother away. You must go this morning. Hagar is packing right now."
Suddenly the tent door opened. Hagar pressed her head inside. "Come Ishmael. Time to go."
Abraham hugged Ishmael. "God be with you both."
At times, God asks us to to do difficult things. God asked Abraham to leave his home and travel to a new place. Abraham obeyed. This is another time God asked Abraham to do something difficult. Abraham obeyed. Perhaps God is asking you to do something difficult like being nice to someone who is mean, doing a chore you don't want to do, or something else. What can we do to help us want to obey?