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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, July 25, 2011

Who is Your Mama?

(Genesis 21:9-10 KJV) And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

The story of Abraham and Sarah is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. The reason I find it so exciting is because it carries with it all the promises and blessings that belong to the natural descendants of Abraham as well as to his spiritual descendants...those of us who belong to Christ. For this reason there are blessings that await us that we have not yet received.

There is another part of this story that I find interesting as well. It has to do with the conflict that began between the mothers of the two sons of Abraham. Sarah was barren and could not have children, so she suggested that Abraham have a son by her maid, Hagar. However, after awhile Sarah did become pregnant and was finally able to give Abraham a son. As Sarah began raising her own son, she became jealous of her maid Hagar...the mother of Abraham's first son. Because of her jealousy, she insisted that Abraham send Hagar and her son away into the wilderness.

Both sons belonged to Abraham, but both sons did not belong to Sarah. As a result, each son's inheritance depended on who their mother was, not on who their father was. Abraham's son with Hagar only received "gifts" whereas Sarah's son received the "promise of God." I guess the real question in cases like this is, "Who is your momma?"

While growing up in East Texas I had the privilege of living with several families...which meant I had many moms. When a foster child is taken in by a family with natural children they are aware of the difference between them and the natural children. It is not necessarily a matter of love, because many foster families love their foster children with the deepest kind of love...it is a matter of bloodline.

I lived with one family who did not have natural children, but had raised several foster children. This wonderful man and his wife loved every one of their foster children, but I seemed to be the favorite kid with the woman...and I knew it. Her husband did not see any difference between any of us, but she did. She protected me and looked out for my best interest, as Sarah protected her own son and looked out for his best interest.

Knowing that I was the favorite kid was all the encouragement I needed. I took full advantage of this situation...which meant that I looked for ways to give this dear foster mom every possible opportunity to bless me. I actually thought we had a good arrangement going, but it did not impress her husband.

There was an old saying back in those days for a child that was being spoiled by a mom. The saying was, "You are hiding the child under your petticoat." Therefore when my foster father would say to my foster mom, "You are just hiding that boy under your petticoat," I would always think to myself, "Yeah and don't you forget it either." The proof of my status of being the favorite child resulted in my receiving land for my inheritance, whereas the other children only received a good home.

I do not know if Abraham thought this way or not because he loved both of his sons. However, Sarah had her way, and her son Isaac received the "blessings of God," whereas the other boy only received gifts from Abraham.

In cases like this, the question is not who is your daddy, but "Who is your momma?"

Father,

I thank you for examples of great women such as Sarah who knew her rights and claimed them for her son. I thank you Father that because of Christ, all of us are Your favorite children and can now inherit the promises of God.

Amen

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