This morning I read the story of Abram and Sarai. When the overwhelming promise was made to the Father of our Faith that he would indeed have a son from his own loins. He and Sarai got together to try to figure out how they could "help God" fulfill his promise. The brilliant deduction of these two spiritual giants was that Abram would impregnate Hagar, Sarai's maid servant and this would fulfill the promise. The result of that action was a son named Ishmael who God said would be " a wild donkey of a man" who would "raise his hand against everyone... and live in hostility toward all his brothers" (Gen 15.12).
Now I don't think I need to make any references to the current situation in the Middle East to confirm the truthfulness of the prophetic utterance regarding Ishmael the father of the Arab people. But what strikes me is the insistence that we humans have on cobbling together a fulfillment other than the one that God has has in his mind.
Whenever we do this we screw up the works and leave lasting implications for the "real promise" that God has for us. Perhaps instead of trying to cobble together a blessing we would be better to trust the divine providence that brought us to the place of promise in the first place.
God, help us to respond in faith to what you have promised and to do nothing out of doubt and unbelief- and so to incur the blessing of your hand upon our present and our future. AMEN