Genesis 16:11-12… “And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren” (KJV).
When the angel told Hagar that her son would be a wild man, it must have devastated her. The words “wild man” means “one who runs wild, a person of low degree.” In other words, a person hard to tame (discipline) and who will not amount to much. Abraham called the son “Ishmael” (“God will hear”). Abraham believed that every time that name was spoken it would become a confession of faith that God would turn things around. In the following chapter, Genesis 17:18-20, Abraham prayed for Ishmael and said, “O that Ishmael might live before thee!” God replied, “As for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation” (KJV). God’s promise is this: He can change a wild man into a prince. God can change the unruly sons and daughters–believe it. Often parents complain, “Our children are unruly and wild.” Of course they are. Children do not go the right way by themselves. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Have you interceded in prayer for your “wild children”? Are you confessing? God will hear. Sow seeds of prayer; God can make them grow. God’s ways are not our ways, especially in dealing with ruined lives. God never gives up on ruin. He begins with ruin and works upon it until it becomes a thing of beauty (note Isaiah 61:3). Ruined lives can be a problem to us, but to God they are an opportunity. When the earth was “without form, and void” (Genesis 1:2), God sent forth His Spirit and His Word and His light to bring order out of chaos and beauty out of darkness. What He did for this physical earth He can do for “wild children.” Give God the opportunity to work out what you cannot do. God can change shattered lives.
Pastors often complain, “My church is unresponsive and carnal.” What else is new? It’s part of the pastor’s work to “perfect” the saints (Ephesians 4:11-16). The word “perfect” means “to mend as in mending nets, to adjust, to complete, to repair the damage done to them [through sin and the devil’s work].” All the carnal saints are opportunities for God’s grace to change them. Like Abraham did, believe that God will hear your intercessions, and you will soon see the changes that you desire. Part of our ministry as parents and pastors is to re-light the lamps that have been put out. God can reverse the wild trends. Society is full of wild children. Reach out… God can repair ruined lives. Jesus did that. We must believe this. When Adam’s race became wild and lost, Jesus reversed the downward trend of mankind by going to the cross and dying for their sins. God wants to change wild children into men and women of stature. Psalm 144:11-15… “Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD” (KJV).
These verses tell the story of the gospel. Through the gospel the Lord can renew, readjust, repair, and remake that which was wild. Jesus Christ is alive to opportunities. He is able to heal all hurts. Like Abraham, start naming your wild children before the Lord. He will hear you. He will give you your own personal promise. Believe it…
Pastor George Belobaba
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