Genesis 21:10-11 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.”  And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s sight because of his son.

Ishmael was precious to Abraham. In Genesis 17:18-20, Abraham asks that God make Ishmael the son of promise. In Genesis 21:11, we see that Sarah’s demand that Ishmael be sent away displeased Abraham because of his son. Genesis 16 tells us that Abraham was 86 when Ishmael was born. Genesis 21 tells us that Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born. God spoke to Abraham and verified that Ishmael must be sent away. Isaac was the son of promise. Ishmael was 14 years old when sent away.

In life, we must be willing to let go of the precious to receive the promise. We must be willing to release what we value to receive God’s best. Often, we miss the promise because we refuse to surrender the precious.

There are times that what is precious to us is also poison to us. The precious today poisons the promise of tomorrow, distracting our focus and draining our resources. The precious may be a poison relationship. The precious may be trying to save a wayward child. The precious may be a job with a big paycheck. The precious may be a mortgage beyond our means. The list is limitless. Only through self-examination can we identify the precious blocking the promise.

God doesn’t always require that we release the precious, but He does require that we always be willing to release the precious. With both hands desperately grasping the precious, we have no hands free to receive God’s loving promise. Be willing to release the precious that you might be available to receive the promise.

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