Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Genesis 25:1-18 #eebc2018

Today's reading is short, and it mostly deals with some events that we don't spend much time on in churches. I grew up in church and I know I read these verses, but I was in college before I really grasped that Abraham married someone after Sarah's death.

He did, though, and her name was Keturah. That's all we really know about her. She had six sons, and one of her descendants is the ancestor of the Midianites. Those folks come back into the story in the Exodus, specifically with Moses.

We also get the wrap-up of Ishmael's story as we find out about his descendants and his lifespan. He lives 137 years. His children and grandchildren settle across the Arabian peninsula, staying close to his family.

What do we learn from this? First, a quick note of the fact that Isaac and Ishmael stayed in close enough contact that they came together to bury Abraham. That's something--there's a time to set aside differences and be family.

Second, we see that God was faithful to His promise to Hagar in the earlier passages. His faithfulness is based on His own character, and there is no casting aside of those who are not the "main" people of the story.

That's probably the best takeaway for most of us: what do we do with those who are not the "big deal" in the world? Realizing also that, honestly, we're probably not the "big deal" either.

How do we treat those folks? Are we willing to honor our commitments even if there is no value for us?

We should be the kind of people who honor our word and care for our neighbor, even if it provides no benefit to us. Let us be that kind of person. Let that inform your politics and social views—like how you approach immigration or safety net programs.

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