Posted by: springsinthedesert | April 1, 2010

I Have Heard That Desire Of Yours, Says God.

And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year." When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

            Genesis 17:20-22

Every time I go through this 17th chapter in Genesis, God gives me new thoughts and so I love to read that chapter again and again. Last time, going through the same,  this particular verse caught my attention..”And as for Ishmael, I have heard you”. If God had to say that He had heard about Ishmael, then Abraham must have said something to God about Ishmael…But what did he ask and what did God tell him in reply? When I read a passage, I always ask a lot of questions. That way, you get a clear picture of what God is trying to tell you from that passage.

Reading Genesis 17, we understand that God has come down to see Abraham to establish a covenant with him. Abraham was ninety nine when God visited him again to confirm this covenant. Its been long twenty four years since God first spoke to Him about an offspring. Till then that promise was not fulfilled. But in these long years of waiting, Sarah grew impatient and took matters in her own hand and that was Ishmael…a son from Abraham through Hagar, the maid of Sarah. That was not what God had planned.

But when God came down to meet Abraham, He said all about the covenant, how much God is going to bless Abraham and his descendants and also how important the circumcision should be among the people of God…all male in the household as well as the servants who were bought with a price should follow this external expression of the covenant. God even changed their names to Abraham and Sarah from Abram and Sarai. I’m sure God was excited about the generation HE is going to bring forth through Abraham and Sarah.

How about Abraham? Was he excited? After waiting for many years, his hope had died out and at this moment, he is not that keen about God’s promised offspring…or rather he does not think that it is possible at this age of ninety nine. Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?" And Abraham said to God, "If only Ishmael might live under your blessing.

Ishmael was not according to God’s plan..For Abraham, it was more like an action without any thought process…Sarah’s persuasion might have caused Abraham to go out of God’s purpose and plan. But he definitely loved his son Ishmael…So when God said all about His covenant about Abraham and his descendants, Abraham had only one desire in his mind…He did not know much about the unborn son who was promised by God…but he knew that Ishmael was his son and will remain his just like any father, he wanted the best for his son.

Now is when the conversation between Abraham and God becomes more interesting. At one side, God is explaining all about His plans about the descendents through Abraham.. and on the other side, Abraham is asking God to bless his ‘mistake’ or his action out of God’s plan. I love what God said…This is my thought about it. God said, “I understand your love towards Ishmael, but I cannot consider you request for making him the promised offspring and thereby bless him..but I have heard your desire..I will surely bless him, but not as the promised son.”

What a wonderful God we serve!!. HE understands our petitions and our desires. Sometimes, our petitions may not be granted, but He definitely consider our desires. Like Abraham, we may have not always done everything right, well in tune with God’s plan and purpose, but our God understands our shortcomings and He comes down to meet our desires, no matter whether its God’s first priority or not. Some of our petitions to God may not be in accordance to God’s divine plan…but He will not underestimate the desires behind such requests…if we are genuine in what we ask…then surely He will also tell us …”And as for that particular matter, I have heard you my dear, and I will bless you”. I love Him for that.

God Bless,

Rani John



  1. Dear Rani,
    What a great lesson for today. I absolutely love that story, can’t you just see the expression on Abrahams face? When we doubt what God can accomplish, we are putting limits on His power. There are no limits to His power, He is supreme and there is no heart to hard to soften for him, no person that cannot be changed.
    God Bless

    • Jim,

      God has spoken to me a lot from Abraham’s story..but everytime I read it…I feel that there are more to it…We try to limit God many ways..We draw boundaries and say that God can act only if it is within that limits…But if we submit..everything to God…our mistakes, our life, our past failures, our hopless situations…everything…Then He will take them to make it useful for us..

      Still learning to surrender my everything…even to my slightest emotions..I know its difficult…but trying hard..
      God Bless,

  2. Rani,

    Today, I put myself in Abraham’s shoes. Many a times, I have prayed amiss….not according to God’s perfect will. And yet…even when I have seemed so far removed from His perfect will for me…He still uses that which I desired against His perfect will to teach me and draw me back to Himself. God spoke once to me and said, “I ANSWER DESPERATE PRAYERS, BUT THE HEART LONGS TO FULFILL COVENANT PRAYERS…prayers that have no expiry date on them.

    Blessings to you, my dear and thank you!


    • I love what you said Gladwell…”I ANSWER DESPERATE PRAYERS, BUT MY HEART LONGS TO FULFILL COVENANT PRAYERS”…This will remain in my heart forever…Yes, God answers our desperate prayers..but they may not be like our covenant prayers…what a revelation…Thank you Gladwell..I wish I would know my Saviour’s heart everyday of my life…so that my prayers will always be such ones that has no expiration date.

      Thank you for that insight once again..
      God Bless

  3. Rani
    Thank you for sharing God’s revelation of His word to you. Understanding God is something we will never do all our lives. Like you said, we can read the same portion of scripture over and over and glean new manna off each time and I am so joyful to see Genesis 17 in a new light again. Thank you for faithfully listening to His voice and sharing your understanding.

    • Vineet,

      The manna is fresh everytime we read a passage..and thats the beauty of Bible. All these years, many have preached and shared different passages in the bible…but even now, we have plenty more to learn…I think its an ever ending process…Thank you so much for your encouraging comments…and let us all do the work that God has instilled in us..

      You are a blessing,

  4. What a wonderful message! I am once again in a season where there is much temptation to take matters into my own hands and forget to wait on the Lord. I am so thankful for the reminder to be patient and let the Lord lead.

    • Thank you for stopping by…Waiting is a difficult season…I myself are in one…and I understand what you mean by the temptation of taking matters into our own hands…What I have learned in this wait is that to learn to be still before God and trust in Him…

      God Bless you..

  5. This was lovely! God truly does give us the desires of our hearts and brings good from our mistakes. It is amazing how far He will go to bless us. Blessings!


    • Eden…thank you for stopping by… We are His covenant people..and He will go very far to bless us…Cross is an example to prove His love towards us…

      Thanks again..

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