trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Family Drama

Civilization under attack

Genesis 25:1-11 (ESV)

Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. Abraham gave all he had to Isaac. But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.

These are the days of the years of Abraham's life, 175 years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife. After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac settled at Beer-lahai-roi.

Abraham has a whole passel of sons by Keturah, but they’re not important. Abraham is nice enough to them, but the passage reiterates that Isaac is the sole heir. These other sons are sent away to the east—specifically away from Isaac.

The Bible doesn’t say why Abraham did this, but it sure sounds like it was to protect Isaac. Abraham has functioned like a king his whole life. When a king does this, the motive is obvious—to protect the heir to the throne from potential rivals.

But that makes the next paragraph all the more surprising. What’s up with Ishmael showing up to help bury Abraham? Being the actual first born, isn’t he “the big threat” to the throne? Yet here he is. He’s been gone since Chapter 21. Why has he come back?

Scripture doesn’t say, but we do have one clue. Sarah was the one who wanted Ishmael sent off. With her gone, they may have reconciled. While Ishmael isn’t the covenantal heir, and he doesn’t inherit the family fortune, God told Abraham, “And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” — Genesis 21:13 (ESV)

Ishmael is family in a way that Keturah’s sons are not.

As crazy as all this drama seems, it’s less crazy than much of the family drama we see today. People seem determined to ruin their lives. That’s no surprise, given our sinful nature, but it’s tragic.

The family is under attack in our society. That’s a threat to everything because families are the foundation of our civilization.

No, that’s not strong enough. Families are the foundation of civilization, period.

No, that’s not strong enough either. Families are the foundation of life. Families are to us what schools are to fish. They are how we are supposed to live. Destroy the family and everything starts to unravel.

And guess what, everything is unraveling.

To forward this devotional, see the link in green below.

These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NASB stands for the New American Standard Bible. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.