Posted by: springsinthedesert | August 12, 2011

He Knows The Desires Of Your Heart

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?

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. Oh this is so good, Rani. Such a great comfort and encouragement from Him through you!
    God bless you and all your desires that He is considering right now!
    love, deb


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