Genesis 21:8-14
8And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. 10So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” 11And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” 14So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

Because Ishmael is the son of Abraham, God promises Abraham that He will make of him a great nation, as well as Isaac. We should not believe for a moment that God is merely reacting to the birth of Ishmael and is forced to bless him because Abraham got ahead of Him and forced His hand. Not at all.

God is up to something here. He has plans through Ishmael that will be a part of His plan to save the world through Jesus Christ. The fact that from Ishmael come the nations that oppose Israel is not the issue, although it is certainly true that Ishmael’s descendants have been a real problem for Israel.

What we cannot deny here is that God promised Abraham that Ishmael would become a nation, and he did. The greatness of the Arab nations is as much a part of what God is doing in the world today as anything that happens in Israel. This is a great encouragement and comfort.

The rising and falling of nations is part of what God is doing in the world. The wars and peace treaties that end them are working together to bring to pass in the world the plan that God has for the nations. One day all nations will bow to the eternal Son and give Him the glory that He deserves.

Some will bow in worship as redeemed people from every nation. Some will bow as defeated foes, again, from every nation.

Work hard to influence your small part in the world, for the glory of God. Work with great confidence. He turned Abraham’s sin around to do as He planned to do and He can use all the events in your life and in the world today to do the same thing. What a God.