Genesis 21: 13
Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.
We enjoy God’s mercies and blessings in our life- be it spiritual or material. The first generation Christians- our forefathers- had a very different outlook on the meaning of blessings. They knew the pain of sleeping without food, of not having a vehicle for transport, not having electricity, etc. But they still kept their hope and trust in God. They were able to look to God as the supplier of all their needs. They had a joy inspite of their hardships – a joy that was founded in Christ.
Fast forward to 2 or 3 generations later and we find the fervour and passion which our forefathers had for Christ has reduced drastically. It isn’t absent completely but definitely diminished. And we don’t know when the trend shifted but today material blessings is seen as a sign of God’s favour to a Christian. We see the family with 3 kids driving a 4 wheeled vehicle, living in a plush bungalow and we automatically presume he is highly favoured by God. How the early Christians would have laughed if they saw the world like it is today.
What many don’t realise is that our God remembers the faithful, He remembers the prayers prayed by the early Christians and He has indeed blessed their future generations.
Ishmael was not the son God intended for Abraham. Abraham took a drastic step and took matters into his own hands – and Ishmael was born. But God promised a future for Ishmael ONLY because of Abraham. Towards the later parts of the book, we see no mention of Ishmael or how his end was. But yes, God was true to His word. He indeed made Ishmael into a great nation, not because of any deed of his own but his father’s.
You may be a 2nd or 3rd or even a 4th generation Christian, the faithfulness shown by your great grandparents and your grandparents may be the source to your seemingly happy life and material blessings. But don’t fool yourself if you count it as a pass for living the way you want. Your personal relation with God alone will get you to heaven. Do not focus on what you see on earth. Look to Him and lead your life in a way that you are assured of the eternity to spend with Jesus.