GOD'S HEART FOR SINGLE PARENTS

In Genesis 21, when the Lord remembered Sarah as He promised Abraham, Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham. Abraham called the son, Isaac. Sarah rejoiced and said, 'God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me'. Then the next thing that happened was that Sarah's slave, Hagar and her son, Ishmael were sent away.




Reference: Genesis 21:9-10 New International Version (NIV)

'But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac."'


The newly born child, Isaac, grew and was weaned. On the day Isaac was weaned, Abraham held a great feast. However Sarah noticed that her slave's son, Ishmael the Egyptian was mocking the child and the celebration. As a result, she summoned Abraham, and asked him to send the slave woman and her son away. She also banned Hagar from sharing in the inheritance of Isaac.


Even though Sarah could not be blamed for taking such action, God remained a gracious God to the bondwoman and her son. Today's topic does not encourage extramarital affairs in any way or form, but its talking about God's faithfulness toward single parents and how He does not abandon them.


The story of Hagar and her son, Ishmael, is a proof that God does not ignore single parents. He cares much about them. Although Abraham was Ishmael's father, Sarah stopped Abraham from providing Ishmael with child support or any kind of inheritance. Abraham was distressed until God spoke to him. Eventually Hagar got only food and a skin of water from Abraham before she was sent off with her son. Then She left and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba (see Genesis 21:14).


As Abraham's son, the matter distressed Abraham but God said to him, "Do not be greatly distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned". Then remarkably, God said, 'I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.' This is the extent of God's care to even those who we may disqualify as underserving of divine assistance.


As a single parent, you may be fed up and lonely without much help and assistance. Humanly speaking, sometimes you do your best, but your best isn't enough. It happened to Hagar. In fact, the Bible tells us that when the water in the skin, which Abraham gave her, was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes, and began to sob, not knowing what to do, for she thought, "I cannot watch the boy die" (Genesis 21:15-16 NIV).


Single parent, I have a golden news for you: God's divine resources are inexhaustible...'He gives strength to the weak. And He gives power to him who has little strength' (Isaiah 40:29 NLV). God heard Hagar's sob and her son's cry and the Angel of God from heaven remembered them and opened her eyes to see a well of water (Genesis 21:17-19). The same God cares for single parents today.


God is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, including all single parents (Psalm 68:5 NIV). If you call upon God, He'll grant you provisions you never knew existed and make your descendants great, just as He did for Hagar. So be determined to seek God's face, because you are never alone in this world.


Scripture Reading - Psalm 116:6; Proverbs 31:8-9; Isaiah 25:4; James 1:27.


Guided Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I honour you as a gracious God who does not withhold any good thing from the upright and also showers those who don't deserve your goodness with great care. Lord, you have scattered abroad your gifts to the poor; your righteousness endures forever. I know that you secure justice for the abandoned and uphold the cause of the needy. By your mercy, the horn of the fatherless is lifted high in honour. Thank you for supporting the single parents who are raising children on their own, for revealing and extending your plans to them and for lifting them beyond their imagination, as I pray in Jesus' Name, Amen!