They have created an Ishmael—an illegitimate counterfeit. Most Americans are none the wiser (sleeping). This illicit replacement imitation is wreaking havoc on what’s left of the country.
His name was Ishmael. He was the product of an unholy and faithless union. Ishmael was conceived because the great patriarch abandoned his faith in God and did the unthinkable. He had illicit relations with a foreign woman not his wife. Yet this great sin was not characterized as the adultery it surely was because Abraham performed this unholy deed at the behest of his wife Sarah. She convinced him to do it. It was a strange love triangle born of spiritual infidelity and outright rebellion against the Lord God. The good man was overcome by the incessant pleadings of his faithless barren wife. Sound familiar?
What Eve did to Adam is what Sarah did to Abraham. However, what these two women did obviously reverberated far, far beyond their respective significant others though they never saw that at the time. Both men knew better but both failed in their faithfulness to God. Had these two men stayed faithful to their overriding spiritual covenant as God had highly advised and counseled them, the great evil that resulted which continues even until this day would never have happened.
Both men made a spiritual recovery later on but the great damage had already been done. There was nothing that could stop the ongoing burgeoning of sin and evil in this world which has grown exponentially ever since. We are currently seeing evil shooting upward as never before like a proverbial rocket, as so many explosive and fiery launches over the last sixty plus years has enthralled a rapt but clueless audience beholding the wonder though never understanding the means and motive.
We see that the serpent was responsible in Eve’s case. Was the serpent also not responsible in Sarah’s case? God had promised Abraham a son, a very special son. He had made the promise to Abraham and Sarah roughly fifteen years before. This childless couple had kept the faith throughout those years. Sarah had always been barren. For all they knew it could have been Abraham’s problem also. The point is that this couple called by God could never have children yet God promised them a very special child who would have an immense and immeasurable beneficial effect on the world.
But they wavered. They grew tired of waiting. This was especially pronounced in Sarah. Her hopes were raised to the heavens when she first heard the promise many years before but then nothing ever came of it and her hopes were dashed. Abraham held on but only in a weakened state. He did his best. There was less and less to sustain his faith. Once Sarah quit and returned to her faithless condition, which barrenness portends, it would only be a matter of time before Abraham’s little remaining supply of faith in God regarding the promise would drain away. And it did.
A surrogate wife was found. The surrogate would be the mother of the promised child. Sarah decreed this. Sarah was just as wrong as Eve, of course, but because the correcting voice that had authority over her was effectively silenced—the voice of Abraham—as Adam’s voice was also silenced by his wife, Abraham proceeded to engage in the unholy, faithless, adulterous union. Again, Sarah did not merely suggest he do this or tell him to, she insisted upon it. Abraham was waylaid. Perhaps he was also tempted in his own right with forbidden fruit that was pleasing to the eyes and flesh. Perhaps he thought of his future great patriarchy and enjoyed the prospect of having another mate for such a purpose. Whatever the case, these two chosen ones messed up really, really bad. Being born into this world wasn’t Ishmael’s fault but the replacement boy later proved to be what he was—the fruit of an illicit union of which God had never approved.
Thirteen years went by. Abraham and Sarah apparently kept up the ruse the entire time, at least in part, and treated young Ishmael as the promised one. Hagar, the boy’s real mother, had something to say about this however. She likely never bought into the narrative and didn’t care. She only knew Ishmael was her boy and she couldn’t help but fight in the tug of war instigated by Sarah. Abraham thus had two wives and they were at odds always and he had to play the referee always, and as his faith had waned which brought forth Ishmael so had his good nature waned, being caught between two warring women, and he must have grown seriously weary as a result.
He also knew in his heart that Ishmael was not really the promised child. He was forced to engage in the deception initially to please his wife and was also forced to continue the charade to stay in her graces. As far as Sarah was concerned Ishmael was her son and anything contrary to this was forbidden. There is thus no possible way she could have had a relationship with God during the entire time for if she had she would have been convicted of her sin and changed her way of thinking.
It is quite interesting how the Word of God gives us clues that bypass most Christians, likely because most Christians are also stuck in false narratives as Sarah was and cannot see them. We know in Adam’s case he lived another 130 years after his initial sin and banishment. At that point he finally repented and did what was required to get right with God. Eve also repented and got right. Their third son listed in the Genesis account—Seth—was the result. He was the fruit of their return to God and effectively replaced Abel who the devil had eliminated by the murderous hand of the abominable Cain.
The point here is the 130 years. It is ten times thirteen. Ten is the Biblical number of ordinal perfection and thirteen is the number of rebellion. Once the rebellion ended, the Messianic generational bloodline was reestablished. For 130 long years there was no hope of a future Savior. If Adam had never gotten right with God there would have been no Lord Jesus. We would all end up in hell with no remedy. The devil would have won the universe. It is therefore no surprise that the number thirteen entered the picture once again in the case of Ishmael:
Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son. [Genesis 17:24-26]
It was imperative that Abraham be circumcised prior to the birth of the promised child. Should he not have known that Isaac was impossible until he had done this? That Isaac would not only be the product of pure faith but also, by implication, the circumcision of the heart? How often do we as Christians make claims upon God’s promises but remain unwilling to fulfill the terms thereof? Circumcision portends spiritual cleanliness. It portends pure seed. It was the cutting off of the flesh. Though Ishmael was conceived while Abraham was uncircumcised (flesh), Isaac, the promised son, must be conceived in circumcised purity (spirit).
Also, the outward end of Ishmael’s development as a son of flesh must be officially stopped and was stopped at thirteen years. The big picture, of course, illustrates the nature of Abraham and Sarah’s sin in that, like Adam and Eve, it was a sin of disobedient faithless rebellion. Abraham’s faithlessness and rebellion against God ended, fully, with his circumcision. In fact, everyone in his entire household was also circumcised. God does not merely suggest spiritual purity if an Isaac is to come forth—He demands it.
Perhaps this is why much of Christianity never brings forth an Isaac but can only ever manage an Ishmael.
Immediately after this wholesale repentance/circumcision event when Abraham returned to rightness with God, he was paid a visit by God and God confirmed the initial promise He had made many years before. Keep in mind that God never would have shown up if Abraham did not fulfill what he must. God always has more time than us and will wait forever if need be. Also, the wholesale repentance/circumcision event of Abraham’s household broke the power that Sarah had gained over Abraham and to which he had fallen victim to when he obeyed her in forcing him to bring forth an Ishmael. As long as her power over the situation remained, Isaac could not possibly be born because he must be born of Sarah and not a surrogate. His birth would never happen as long as Sarah was in charge. Sarah would never have an ounce of faith as long as she was in charge. She would never be fertile. She would be unworthy of receiving spiritual seed. Of course, in her case, she was also unable of bear children in the flesh. She was barren both physically and spiritually. She was also faithless. The only way this could change is if she submitted to God. Fully. Why was Sarah so hardheaded and stubborn in this regard? Why did she demand to have her own way? Was this not the vestige of fallen Eve in her nature? (Abraham had also partaken of the vestige of fallen Adam by weakly complying with the demands and/or manipulation of his wife.)
The process toward spiritual life and away from fleshly rebellion, as it was in the exact case of Adam and Eve, started when Abraham took back control from Sarah and then submitted total control to God. (As long as Sarah was in authority she would never submit to God and there would never be an Isaac.) This is why there was such an immediate dramatic change for the better once Abraham repented and was circumcised. The change was so dramatic that even Sarah herself would be blessed with pure faith and her newfound faithfulness to God would result at last in spiritual fruitfulness. God had initially told them Isaac was coming 29 years before. The time had now arrived for Him to tell them again, this time face to face:
Now the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, and said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by. Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; and I will bring a piece of bread, that you may refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have visited your servant.” And they said, “So do, as you have said.” [Genesis 18:1-5]
Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” He said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” [Genesis 18:9-14]
THIS PRESENT DARKNESS
Though an Ishmael has taken over and gained great power at the behest of evil forces he will not and they will not have the last word. Regardless of their success to date in establishing a counterfeit which appears to be legitimate, there remains much more to this story. We see many forms of attack against this Ishmael but none have worked so far nor will any other work. Except one.
As I have faithfully reported over the last eleven and a half years, primarily through this medium, a Great Awakening had always been in the plan of God for America. Just as He has done on countless other occasions, if we as His followers fulfill the terms of the promise, the present illegitimate Ishmael in control will not only be stopped but circumcised. Its evil fleshly power and connection to the devil will be cut off. This will happen when the rebellion is complete, when the perpetrators thereof have spent themselves in an ultimately losing cause. And every real Christian in America has a vital part to be engaged in toward that end. The Lord Jesus will do this, as He always has, through His people, His spiritual kingdom-minded Community of Called-Out Ones who bow the knee to Him, confess His holy Name, and circumcise their hearts.
In the interim, get faithful and stay faithful.
Isaac is coming.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Abraham chose to believe God’s promise and Isaac was the result, though it happened 25 years later.
Mary, the Lord’s mother, told everyone in the beginning that her Son was the result of a miracle pregnancy and birth, but no one believed her. Some did believe, however, when the Lord performed His first miracle, 30 years later.
This means that faith in God’s promises also requires time. The one to whom the impossible promise was made must remain faithful until the impossible promise happens—in God’s timing.
Joseph remained faithful and pure throughout his 13 years in captivity after a great betrayal. His father thought he was dead. No one knew where he was. No one came looking for him. He was completely cut off from his family.
But prior to all the abject misery he was subjected to, God gave him a couple of dreams revealing his future and his future standing. He knew these dreams were God’s Word to him and he never lost sight of their implications and future occurrence.
Therefore, before anything happened or even began to, God gave Abraham a promise—God’s promise to Abraham came first. The angel Gabriel told Mary all about her Son before she conceived. God gave Joseph dreams before the challenging, lonely sojourn he was sent on that resulted in the salvation of his family.
We thus cannot simply believe in something happening unless it first involves God’s promise of its occurrence. We may have specific promises made to us specifically by God, or we may have the promises He makes in His Word, such as abundant life. Though Abraham lost faith halfway toward the promise, he regained it and returned to The Miracle Realm:
Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. [Romans 4:19-22]
The Lord Jesus is THE DOOR to abundant life and the coming true of every promise He makes. But one cannot say he believes in God without also believing in His promises and in His miracle power. Isaac was a miracle. The Lord’s birth was a miracle. Joseph rising from the lowest pit to become the effective ruler of Egypt was obviously miraculous.
If one DOES believe in God, according to the Lord’s definition, the evidence of that faith will be there—miracles will happen. This is why miracles followed the ministries and lives of real believers in the first century. It is also why NO MIRACLES follow the ministries and lives of non-believers, whether they claim to be Christians or not.
Unreal Christianity engages in much fakery and pretension. It insists on its authenticity though the fruit is not there. If the spiritual fruit is not there then the grapevine is either not producing or it likely does not exist in that place.
IF THERE IS REAL BELIEF, THERE WILL ALSO BE REAL MIRACLES. THESE TWO ALWAYS GO TOGETHER. THIS IS THE UNDENIABLE PROOF OF GOD’S PRESENCE.
“…For no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” [John 3:2]
The miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit of God are the evidence of real believers who refuse to believe in circumstances that disagree with God.
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” [John 15:5-8]
When the presence of the Lord has been rejected, there must be a substitute to give the illusion of authenticity. The Pharisees were absolute masters at doing this. They were incredibly brilliant in putting on fake spiritual performances and this was exactly why the Lord called them stage players. Their speaking ability, intelligence, knowledge, and pageantry was unmatched. They constructed a large, highly detailed living deception, a veritable temple, due to not having the presence of God. They knew most people are greatly impressed by such surface manipulations and the appearance of religious authority. As a result they reveled in the adoration and respect it gained them, including the social standing and wealth.
The apostle Paul had been one of these but did a complete 180 when he gave his life to the Lord. Because of his real faith the Lord Jesus took away all the fake props and resulting religious pride, and blessed him with Himself and the actual evidence of His presence.
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. [1Corinthians 2:1-5]
If one is a Christian that does not believe in miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit, then one is a Christian that does not believe in God, even if he claims to. The claim itself is worthless. It must be confirmed by evidence.
The life of Abraham contained this evidence. The Lord’s ministry contained this evidence. The ministry of the early believers contained this evidence.
As a further test of his faith, Abraham was told by God to sacrifice Isaac. Remember, if there’s no Isaac, there is no future Savior of the world and we all go to hell.
WHEN GOD MAKES A PROMISE HE THEN SPEAKS DEATH TO IT. HE DOES THIS SO THE PROMISE WILL NEVER COME TRUE UNLESS IT IS ACTIVATED AND RESURRECTED BY FAITH, AND IN HIS TIME.
Abraham obeyed the Lord’s instruction and set out to sacrifice his son.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. [Hebrews 11:17-19]
Abraham believed in the power of faith and practiced it. He believed in sacrifice and practiced it. He believed in giving and practiced it. He believed in the concept of circumcision and practiced it. He even believed in resurrection from the dead. ABRAHAM OBEYED GOD AND THE MIRACULOUS EVIDENCE OF HIS FAITH WAS DEMONSTRATED IN HIS LIFE.
He lived in The Miracle Realm. His eyes were opened. He saw what no one else could see. Out in the desert he peered almost 2000 years into the distant future and understood the blood covenant. He understood the gift of righteousness. He understood the reason why. Because he believed God He SAW Salvation:
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” [John 8:56-58] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
RELATED POST: The Edge of Faith
The Gospel of John mentions that the children of God, like Isaac, are each miracle children:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:12-13]
Again, the Lord must be first and there must be a covenant with Him before anything else can possibly happen. The old must die so the new can be born.
WHENEVER GOD BRINGS FORTH A NEW BIRTH IT IS ALWAYS A MIRACLE.
Christians who have never had a new birth experience but claim to be believers are only believers in a religious sense. They are believers according to the will of man, or according to religious man or religion. Without a new birth there is no heart change. There is no circumcision of the heart. If they oppose the new birth they are Ishmaels who mock Isaac and fight against the people of God.
But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. [Galatians 4:29]
The Pharisees who fought the Lord were Ishmaels. Ishmael fought Isaac. He made fun of Isaac. There was no possible way these two could ever be in fellowship. It was impossible—UNLESS ISHMAEL REPENTED AND BECAME A MAN OF FAITH AND OBEDIENCE LIKE HIS FATHER ABRAHAM. Some Pharisees repented, for example, and became real believers.
What God impressed upon me regarding the inspiration of this article is that in order to enter The Miracle Realm one must choose to believe God and not believe circumstances that do not agree with God’s promise.
For example, the Lord said he came to give us abundant life:
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]
Therefore, any circumstances that disagree with that life must not be accepted or believed in. He kept telling the people He healed that their FAITH made them well. Their faith, though, had to be combined with God’s POWER (dunamis) and one cannot be the recipient of God’s power without first being the recipient of God:
ONE MUST FIRST BELIEVE AND OBEY GOD BEFORE THE MIRACLE CAN HAPPEN, WHICH MEANS ONE MUST ALSO STOP BELIEVING IN ANYTHING THAT DISAGREES WITH GOD.
When people came to the Lord seeking healing, those who were healed were those who first believed the Lord and believed IN the Lord. The Lord was already there, and His miracle power was already there. His great love and compassion were already there. What they needed was faith in God. If they added their faith in the Lord, believed what He said, believed in what He could do and wanted to do for them, and gave themselves to Him, A MIRACLE HAPPENED. ABUNDANT LIFE HAPPENED.
“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” [Luke 6:38]
ONE CANNOT GET LIFE FROM GOD UNLESS ONE FIRST GIVES LIFE TO GOD.
If one wonders why the miracle never happens, it is most likely because one has faith in the circumstances or beliefs that oppose God and thus cancel out the power of God. And there is an element of selfishness somewhere. In other words, one practices subtraction instead of addition (giving).
Such UNBELIEF (apistia) is an actual power. It is a kind of anti-faith—a miracle killer—a force that fights against faith. It will support circumstances and beliefs that oppose the Word of God. It is based on what the natural eye can see and not on what the spiritual eye can see. It is based on the comprehension of the natural mind and not on that of the spiritual mind which is aligned and in agreement with the mind of Christ. It stems from an uncircumcised heart.
And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. [Mark 6:5-6] 
Since righteousness is a gift and not something that a person can earn or work up or buy, one can only receive righteousness by receiving the Lord and by first submitting to Him 100%.
Again, one must enter The Miracle Realm to receive righteousness just like receiving any other miracle. AND BECOMING RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD IS A MIRACLE! This is what being born again entails: New birth—the death of the old (unbelief) and birth of the new (faith).
IF THIS IS TO HAPPEN, ONE MUST NO LONGER BELIEVE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE THAT DISAGREE WITH THE MINISTRY OF THE LORD JESUS AND DENY LIFE TO ISAAC.
He came in part to heal physically blind eyes, for example. Unbelievers claim such healing is impossible. The circumstances of life say such healing cannot happen, and that no one has the power to make it happen. The Lord Jesus disagrees and says He can make it happen.
He can make anything happen. One must choose, therefore, who to believe. One cannot believe both.
They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:20-23]
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. [Genesis 15:6]
We all know the verse. We have read it and quoted it many times. We have heard it preached and taught in church, on television, and probably on the radio. We all think we probably know what it means.
For me, it has been an ongoing revelation. The idea that Abraham believed and as a result was made righteous never fully satisfied me. I knew there had to be more.
The apostle Paul gives us a very good explanation in Romans 4:
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness… [Romans 4:1-5]
So Abraham understood that the righteousness he must receive would not be the result of his own efforts. He learned that righteousness is purely a gift, as Paul states in the next chapter:
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. [Romans 5:17]
REIGN IN LIFE?
Another pretty big clue is that Abraham received a promise:
Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” [Genesis 15:4-5]
Now, before this, at the beginning of his journey, the Lord told Abraham in Genesis 12:2: “And I will make you a great nation…” But He did not specify how this would happen.
Once they arrived in Canaan, the Lord stated: “To your descendants I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7). Abraham must have assumed it meant he would somehow have a family. All he had, however, was a certain Eliezar of Damascus whom he referred to as one born in his house, though not his offspring. He took his concern to God regarding this and we know the rest of the story:
Abraham and Sarah would have a child though they could not have children.
This is what Abraham believed. He believed the Lord was telling him the truth in promising him he would have a son, though such an event would be physically impossible. This faith in God and belief in His impossible promise coming to fruition is what made Abraham a righteous man.
Later, I understood that Abraham didn’t simply believe something he already saw in the present, he believed in something he could not see in the future, and he pledged himself to God that he would be obedient in whatever God told him to do.
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. That made perfect sense and added to the spiritual fact. Most people would never sign off on such a contract. And it was a contract. It was a covenant ratified between God and Abraham and was based on an impossible promise. If Abraham was to believe God, he would have to believe the impossible.
Here is the key: ABRAHAM DID NOT BELIEVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES NO MATTER HOW REAL THEY APPEARED IF THEY DISAGREED WITH GOD’S PROMISE.
Abraham and Sarah could not have children but God promised Abraham he would have a son. This makes no sense to the rational mind. It is scientifically impossible, at least on the surface according to known facts.
The only way for such an event to take place then, is by entering The Miracle Realm. This is what happened. Abraham believed God especially because what God said made no sense. This is where his faith came in.
He made the decision to believe God’s promise. He chose to believe God. He heard God. He knew he heard God. And he knew what God said. But he also knew they could not have kids. So he believed God had the power to overcome that fact and would overcome that fact—SOMEHOW, SOME WAY.
However, in order for Abraham to enter The Miracle Realm he must first give his life to God. And giving one’s life to God means a person must commit to doing anything and everything God says to do, both in the present and in the future. Abraham did this. He signed off on the covenant. Making the covenant with God always comes first.
Later though, after being faithful for several years, Abraham stepped out of faith. He violated the covenant. He lost faith in God and disobeyed God by choosing to obey his wife who had no faith (barren). He decided to leave The Miracle Realm and go back to the world of man where faith was not required.
As a result they created Ishmael, who was birthed according to purely natural means by someone who was NOT Sarah. This was NOT faith. If there would be a miracle, God said Sarah must be the mother.
Though Ishmael was loved by God, and though Ishmael’s descendants were and are loved by God, Ishmael is not Isaac, Hagar is not Sarah, and the fallen world of man is not The Miracle Realm:
For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.
This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.
For it is written, “REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.”
And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. [Galatians 4:22-28] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. [Galatians 3:22]
The nature of God’s promise is that without faith there is effectively no promise at all. Not only that, but God will often make it difficult for His promises to be fulfilled in order to build our faith. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Why else does the Lord sometimes wait until the brink of disaster before answering our prayers?
The Exodus comes to mind. It is a story often cited in Scripture, and for good purpose. Everything was riding on that particular miracle taking place, and without it all was lost. You think you have problems? They were trying to kill the Lord long before He was ever born. Repeatedly, time after time, there arose continued instances wherein the Messianic generational line was attacked. In began in Genesis, pardon the almost pun.
Abel was taken out. And that was that. Without a replacement there would be no Messiah. The good news is that 130 years later there was an appointed replacement. In fact, the name Seth means “appointed one,” in that he was appointed by God to replace the dead line of Abel. Imagine that. For 130 years there was no hope of the Lord’s coming. Did it mean He would not come? For the people of that time, that was exactly what it meant. Where was the hope that Adam and Eve would ever have another righteous son? Did not this same thing happen after the Lord’s death on the cross? Though He told His men repeatedly He would die and rise again they never understood it, and were certainly not thinking that at the time. For them it was over. Their Master was dead. For three days there was no hope of His coming, and therefore no salvation for the world. The Lord would have to rise again for the promise to bear fruit. Otherwise, it would be as dead as the Lord’s body.
The righteous line of Seth was almost completely wiped out by the time of the flood. Only Noah and his family were left. But prior to the flood, did anyone other than Noah think everyone else would be wiped out instead? How great were the odds? All was progressing toward the eventual death of Noah and the end of Messianic hopes. But God stepped in at the perfect time and destroyed the great bulk of humanity instead, a humanity that had grown hopelessly vile and sinful.
Several generations later, the righteous line of Noah came down to a single man. The Lord essentially started all over again with Abraham. The generational line had almost died out. And then what? Sarah was barren. Great. Abraham’s wife could not have children. Wonderful. So that was that, right? Close up shop and go home, all is lost. Unless Abraham had a little faith. And he did. Then he didn’t. Then he did again. It was a battle royal trying to keep Abraham lined up with the plan and purposes of God, but the man stayed strong and eventually believed and served God to the point of fruitfulness. Sarah also eventually believed after a long life of little or no faith. As a result, life was snatched from the jaws of death and little Isaac showed up. He was yet another miracle child.
Was God doing all this by design, or did it happen because the Messianic line was constantly under attack? Real Christians can identify with all this, for they are also constantly under attack in one way or another. The reason is because they are committed to serving the Lord. The Lord can bring forth spiritual fruit through them, and the enemy must stop them in any way possible. If we trust the Lord, even while under attack, He will bring us through it. Without faith, however, there is no bulwark against the forces of evil. There are no city walls holding back the enemy. A loss or lack of trust in God allows the enemy to storm right in and destroy all in his path, or keep fruit from ever coming forth.
Seth restored the line. Noah, “perfect in his generations,” obeyed God and kept the fledgling line alive. Abraham did the same. Joseph did the same by allowing God to do the unthinkable to keep his family alive. Without the thirteen-year hardship of Joseph, Jacob and all his sons would have perished in the famine. We can go on. You get the point. These are only a few highlights.
Does any of this resonate with you?
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants AS THE STARS OF HEAVEN IN NUMBER, AND INNUMERABLE AS THE SAND WHICH IS BY THE SEASHORE.
All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. [Hebrews 11:1-13] 
© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.