Gen 16:11 – You shall call his name Ishmael
God gave Hagar the name of her son. Ishmael is the son Abraham had with Hagar at the instance of Sarah, when she decided she could not bear children and she asked Abraham to go into her maid and produce children by her. It was an act of the flesh and not according to God’s intention for Abraham, never the less, God acknowledged and blessed Ishmael as a child of Abraham, but He reserved the covenant blessing for Isaac whom Sarah bore to Abraham later.
But my focus today is on Ishmael and the meaning of his name and how it applies to us today. Ishmael means ‘God hears’ or ‘God will hear’. If you read Genesis 16:11, you will see that God named him Ishmael and immediately explained the meaning of that name. He said “Because the LORD has heard your affliction.”
Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear,
18 To [h]do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
That the man of the earth may [i]oppress no more.
Few things we can glean from this name. God hears and will hear the cry of all the afflicted, the repressed, the down trodden, the infirmed, the poor, the disenfranchised and the outcast. God hears their cry and He responds to them. Are you afflicted? Are you in a difficult place? Are you experiencing injustice? Are you in pain? God hears your sighs and groans and God will visit to deliver you shortly.
Secondly, I feel very impressed to declare to all the sons of Ishmael languishing in hopelessness, under bondage of tyranny and repression, lost and confused, that God will hear, and God will respond to their cries. I am convinced that God will visit them in this generation and show them His salvation through His appointed Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Lastly, I also declare that the people of this great nation Nigeria, who are repressed, oppressed and being subjugated; the people who daily groan and sigh under the burden of injustice and pain. The Lord hears your cry and He will rise to deliver us as a nation.
God hears and He will hear!
Let us pray: Father God, You are the God who gave Ishmael his name. In this You revealed another side of Your character as the God who hears. Lord we cry out today on behalf of all the oppressed, repressed, afflicted and rejected people of this world, that You would hear their cry. We ask you to hear the cries of the seeds of Ishmael and deliver them and show them Your salvation and Saviour. Lastly hear the cry of every Nigerian and deliver Nigeria from oppression and tyranny in every facet of our society. In Jesus name we pray! Amen.