As I was praying and reading my bible this morning, I had so many questions in my heart, and I wanted to know what was in the heart of God. I looked at our fallen world and I see so much suffering around me, and especially so much suffering of women and their children when the father of those children has bailed out. I did not want to focus on the action of the man, but I wanted to know what God had to say about these countless women and their children, who have been left on their own. I cried out to the Lord: What do you have to say Jesus?
1. A real life experience.
On January 2nd, 2012, I visited a family, and we had a really good time. We laughed and just enjoyed the time spent with each other. One of the brethren who was there, was a young gentleman of 80 years old. He started to share his life story with us, to give us some knowledge of the mistakes he had made in his life, and how he wished there was a time machine to go back and amend them. The 80 year old gentleman is living on his own today, and has no one to talk to at home; his children do not want to see him at all. We all wondered what had happened to this brother, that he had such a bad relationship with his children?
He explained to us, that when he was younger, in the sixties, he had four children with a woman. But he was a player. So he broke the heart of that little woman, and left her with all the children, because he thought she was hindering him, she was not allowing him to have his freedom to do the things he wanted to do. So he turned his back on both the woman and the children. The woman struggled with the children. They are all grown up today and have their own children too. The 80 year old gentleman, told us that he does not understand why his children are mad at him? Why they do not want to have anything to do with him? He has bought two cars for two of them, they took the cars, but they still do not want him around them. He thought that by lavishing them with gifts, he would buy their affection, and they will include him in their lives and the lives of his grandchildren. But all his attempts have been to no avail, so he had red eyes and tears were coming down his cheeks, when sharing his life story with us.
When he had finished sharing all his life experience with us, and how lonely he is today, and how He used to send money to his relatives back in the Caribbean where he came from. He thought that they were the ones who truly loved him. But today now that he is 80, he understands that the people back home where only exploiting him, that they were making him feel good, and that he was their “saviour”, and they were literally worshiping him for all he was doing for them. But as soon as he was not able to send them money, their love waxed cold toward him, they were no longer adulating him. His so called friends, and relatives that once praised him beyond what was merited, were nowhere to be found. He realised that he was alone, his nephews were taking care of their parents, they were visiting and calling their parents and, he had nobody calling him or visiting him. Although he used to send the money to them but they did not remember him anymore.
I did not want to offend him, but there was a great and long silence in the living room where we all sat. We could hear the tick tock of the clock. I finally opened my mouth and said to the brother since he was not a Christian. The bible says we should not hide from our flesh (Isaiah 58:7). I will call him “Bob” but it is not his real name. I said: Bob your children are your flesh and your blood; I know that the people back in the Caribbean, are also your relatives but your priority was your children, to clothe them, feed them and be there for them, your priorities were not right. No matter how little we earn, the priority is to provide for our wife and children, for he that cannot provide for his own household, is worse than an infidel (1 Timothy 5:8). Bob shared with us that he was only earning £30 per week back then in the sixties. The bible tells us: Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where love is, than a stalled ox (ox kept in a stable) (Proverbs 15:17). I said: Bob, the children were not asking you for fancy food for dinner, they would have been happy even to be eating cassava leaves with you, eat the yam, cassava roots or sorrel or even “matembele”.
They would have liked the “cow foot” for dinner instead of a beef steak. I told him: Bob in the Caribbean, because the people were poor and could not afford to buy meat, that is why they used to cook cows feet, and it is a national dish! So you see Bob, the children did not want the beef steak, and all the expensive food, they would have been content with dinners of herbs and as a treat the “cows foot” a traditional dish from the Caribbean! But what they wanted, was your love and your presence. Bob told me that now he goes and cooks some Caribbean food for his children and grandchildren, but they are still not receiving him properly. I said to Bob, they know that it is only because you are lonely and have been forsaken by all your so called relatives, and that as a last resort you are now coming to them, trying to cook traditional food, buying them cars. Nobody can buy affection that a parent has with a child.
I said to Bob, the children are all grown up, they are in their forties and even the grandchildren are already in their teenage years. It is difficult to rebuild a relationship, when you have been out of the picture for so long! I said, Bob, the children are angry because, when you left their mum and stopped providing for them, you chose to provide for all those people who were adulating you. They felt rejected, they asked themselves so many questions? And they even blamed themselves. Asking within them: is it because I was born that my father left the house? Maybe I ruined the plans of my father at my birth? Maybe he did not want me at all? Maybe it is because we were unruly children that father left the house? And then Bob confessed that he used to say that they were unruly children.
I said, Bob, this is what was going on in the heads of those children when you left them with their mum. They asked questions of their mum about the reasons why you were no longer coming back home. But she explained the best she could. Today the children have been able to overcome the trauma of their childhood, and they have built their lives, married and have their own children. They just want to forget about the past, the wounds. So Bob understood all that. I said, Bob, you are now a Christian, do yourself a favour, forgive yourself for the mistakes, for the way you let all of them down, because God has forgiven you, and be there for them. He told me, one of his granddaughters who is 21 years old, is now calling him often, because she has many questions about Jesus. I said, Bob, this is God opening a door to restore a relationship with your grandchildren, you blew it with your children, but you can make it right with your grandchildren.
I said Bob, God is the God of the second chance, even if you are 80 years old, God can restore your relationship with your family. You will no longer celebrate your birthdays alone, but your children and your grand children will celebrate them with you. Deep inside me, I know that life is not always a bed of roses for many women and their children, when their father is no longer in the picture. They have loved the man with all their heart, but he just keeps dealing treacherously with them, and has broken the vows (Malachi 2:14). The woman and her children have no power over the man’s will, to force him to come home. For he thinks what he is doing is right.
When I got home, I was praying, and I could not stop thinking about the pain that woman and her children went through, tears came to my eyes, as I thought about countless other women and children, who are in that situation. I prayed that it would be well with them, but especially for those who are in Christ, that it shall be well with them, and I heard the Lord telling me that for those who are in Christ, it shall be with their children and them.
2. Stop blaming yourself
Many times things happened to us, when we were not born again Christians. We had a child or children out of wedlock. And the Father of the child told us we were not good enough for him, or he did not want to have that child, or we have tricked him. From the very beginning of the world, man has always been accusing the woman for everything. When Adam and Eve had both partaken of the fruit of the forbidden tree, for Adam was with Eve when the serpent talked with her, and he said nothing to prevent the serpent from deceiving them (Genesis 3:1-6). Adam knew exactly what he was doing and the consequences of his actions. The bible tells us clearly: And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression (1 Timothy 2:14).
Adam was never deceived; he knew exactly what he was doing. But when God asked Adam: what have you done? He answered: the woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate (Genesis 3:12). Many women still beat themselves over the fact that they have a child and the man did not want it. Do not beat yourselves sisters, many men like Adam want to shun their responsibilities, they knew exactly what they were getting into, it takes two to have a pregnancy. The bible reminds us that Adam was not deceived, but he still blamed Eve and God, who gave her to him. Many men will run away from their responsibilities like Adam, and blame other people. They blame their relatives for putting pressure on them, and they cannot say no to them, they have to do what they are asking them to do.
Adam had the authority to stop the serpent from destroying his home, but he did nothing. He allowed it to happen. Many people allow external and harmful voices like that of the serpent, to destroy their home. So, sisters do not beat yourselves up over the children or the pregnancy, the man was not deceived, whatever a man sows, that shall he reap (Galatians 6:7). The man sowed his seed, he can only expect a pregnancy! So we clearly see that the two knew what they were doing. God blamed Adam and Eve for their sin (Genesis 3:14-19). Adam wanted to blame Eve for everything but God who is Just, said they were both to be blamed, but especially Adam, for though Eve was deceived, He was not deceived!
3. Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis 16)
I knew a dear sister who had two beautiful daughters with different men before she came to the Lord. When she came to the Lord, she had so many questions? A so-called brother in her church wanted to marry her. But he came to her with this scripture: cast out the bondwoman and her son (Galatians 4:30). So he interpreted this scripture to her saying: sister you need to send your children back to Africa to live with your parents, because they were born when you were not Christian. I will marry you only if you send them back to Africa, because I want you but not your children! The sister was so desperate to be married, and the so-called brother was handsome according to her words. So she thought about sending her beautiful little girls to Africa just to please that so-called brother. But she had the common sense to phone brother G.
She said: G, I have met someone who wants to marry me, and I really like him, he is handsome, he puts on nice suits. He is very spiritual: he can quote lots of scriptures, and furthermore he is the associate pastor in our church. But he wants me to “cast out the bondwoman and her son”. So I will be sending my children to Africa to live with my mum and get married to that man. I had these children in my unsaved life, so I will send them to my parents. I said sister, this is not the meaning of that scripture. The man is twisting that scripture. So let’s say that it is the meaning, “cast out the bondwoman and her son”; so the man should not marry you either, since according to his interpretation, you are Hagar and your two sweet girls are Ishmael. And then it dawned, that it was not only Ishmael, but Hagar was also cast out. So I said to her, sister forget about that brother, a man that God has ordained for you, will love you and your children.
Then what is the true heart of God concerning Hagar and Ishmael her son? If we know what God’s heart is towards them, it will help us in life. Abraham and Sarah were the spiritual people, they were the people of God, and they knew the will of God and the promises of God in their life. Unfortunately they were not patient enough; they wanted to bring their miracle about by their own means. So Sarah told Abraham to go to their slave girl Hagar, so that she would give him a child. Hagar was not in the covenant of Abraham, for she was an Egyptian slave. Father Abraham made a mistake, but the child that resulted from the mistake of father Abraham, was never a mistake.
When we were unsaved, or even when we were saved like father Abraham, the children that we had from different unions, either married or unmarried, were our mistakes, because we sinned by committing adultery or fornication, but the child is never a mistake. God does not condone our sins, or the sin of Father Abraham, but the son that resulted is never a mistake. The child is accepted by Jesus our beloved (Ephesians 1:6). The entire Godhead accepts that child, but disapproves of the sin of adultery or fornication. We should never think that our children are a mistake, never, they are gifts from God and they are accepted by God just like any other child. So no matter what the circumstances were surrounding the birth of that child, that child’s birth is never a mistake.
Sarah realised her mistake and started to mistreat Hagar, Hagar had to run from Abraham and Sarah, and she went into the wilderness with the child. There might have been many questions in the head of Hagar: Abraham only used me, he just wanted to have a good time with me, he never wanted to have this child with me, maybe this child is a mistake since what I did with Abraham was a mistake. If a person believes that his child or her child is a mistake, and has arrived to ruin all his or her plans, he or she will never love that child. Yes, we cannot overly emphasise that what Abraham did was wrong, adultery and fornication is wrong! But the child is a new life, that directly comes from God. God has accepted that child like any other child that comes into this world. There is nothing wrong with that child. Even when the parents say that it was an unwanted pregnancy, God wants that child and accepts the child.
Jesus in person, comes to show the world that he has accepted the little child Ishmael. The bible says: now the Angel of the Lord found Hagar by a spring of water in the wilderness (Genesis 16:7). The Angel of the Lord or the Angel of His presence is Jesus Christ (Isaiah 63:9, Exodus 33:14, Exodus 23:20-23, Judges 13:20-23). So Jesus appeared to Hagar and Ishmael, and Jesus who is the Angel of the Lord blessed Ishmael. And the Angel of the LORD said unto her (Hagar), Behold, you are with child, and shall bear a son, and you shall call his name Ishmael; because the LORD has heard your affliction. (Genesis 16:11). So it does not matter if the father blessed the child or not, if the father names the child or not. Jesus, who is the Angel of the Lord, names the child and blesses the child.
Now my sister the child that you are carrying in your womb or that you have conceived is accepted in the beloved Jesus. Jesus in person has blessed the child with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). Sister it is and it shall be well with you and your child, with you and all your children because God has heard your afflictions.
After Isaac was born, Sarah decided to ask Abraham to cast out Hagar and her son Ishmael, for she did not want him to inherit Abraham’s wealth (Genesis 21:10). Father Abraham with all the wealth he had, did not even think of providing enough for Hagar and Ishmael. He did not even send one of his servants with donkeys, to drive Hagar and Ishmael to a safe place, and give them some money to start their new life. Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a water bottle made of skin, and put it on the shoulder of Hagar and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered into the wilderness of Beersheba. And the water in the skin was used up and Hager placed Ishmael under the shrubs. Then she went and sat down across from Ishmael at a distance about a bowshot; for she said to herself: let me not see the death of Ishmael, so she sat opposite and lifted up her voice and wept (Genesis 21:14-16).
Many fathers are acting the way father Abraham acted toward Hagar and Ishmael. They do not provide for their children and the mother. Ishmael and Hagar were not to be blamed for the mistakes of Abraham and Sarah. Why should the little Ishmael suffer hunger and thirst? The child is innocent in the matter! Many fathers have sent the mother of their children away with almost nothing, and the mother and the children are suffering. Many women are like Hagar, they have been forsaken by the father’s child and do not know what to do. There is no more bread at home and the skin of water is used up. It looks like they are in the wilderness. They lift up their voices like Hagar did and weep bitterly. They do not know how they will provide for their children; they do not know how they will pay the rent to have the roof over their heads.
Sisters I told you, it is and it shall be well with you and your children. Jesus Himself has accepted that child or those children of yours. He named them and blessed them. Even when their fathers forsake them, then the Lord Jesus will take them up, He will receive them (Psalm 27:10). Jesus, since He accepted those children promised: I will never leave you nor forsake you, so that you may boldly say: the Lord is my helper I will not fear. What can man do to me and my children (Hebrews 13:5-6)? It does not matter if they disown us, if they decide to take care of other children who they value more than us. After all, father Abraham took care of his nephew Lot for a long time, and even went to fight the confederacy of four kings, with three hundred of his servants, to rescue his nephew and his family, from their hands after they had been captured (Genesis 14).
So father Abraham has money and servants when it comes to his relatives, but for Ishmael, his own flesh and blood, he does not have. We see even father Abraham was not a perfect man. Only Jesus is the perfect man. Jesus will never let us down. God heard the voice of little Ishmael, dying of thirst and hunger. So God sent an angel, the angel called to Hagar from heaven and said to her: What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is; arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I, the Lord, will make him a great nation. Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water and she went and filled the skin and gave the lad a drink (Genesis 21:17-19).
God will be with the child and the mother, he will provide for them, Abraham sent them away with a water bottle made of skin, but God gave them a well of water. A well that will never be used up like that skin of water. Abraham gave his wells of water to Isaac (Genesis 26), but God gave that well of water to Ishmael and Hagar. God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). .
If we apply that story of Hagar and Ishmael today, we see that God was faithful to his word. Abraham did not provide for Ishmael, but God did through Jesus Christ who is the Angel of the Lord, who pronounced that blessing over Ishmael. Ishmael is the leading nation in the leading group of people among the Arabs, and we can see even today how they are blessed financially, their desert is full of oil. Thousands of years after Jesus, who is the Angel of the Lord, blessed them, and they are still as blessed financially as Israel, who are the descendents of Isaac. So even when we look at the Arab world, we should pray for them until they come to Jesus, the originator of their blessing.
Sisters have many questions in their heads and sometimes they do not have answers according to the Holy Scriptures. Some sisters, who had children from two different men, or who were married five times like the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob, when they come to Christ Jesus they wonder if the children they had from different husbands are all in the plan of God? They say to themselves, if I had all my children from the same man, then all of them will be in God’s plan. If there is a predestination according to God’s purpose, then I should have been in the perfect will of God, if, I wanted God, to predestine all my children. I should have had all my children from one husband, to be sure that they are all predestined according to God’s purpose. But now since they have different fathers, and none of the fathers are born again, I do not know which of my children are predestined according to God’s purpose.
My sisters I want to tell you: let not your heart be troubled about which one of your children from different fathers are predestined according to God’s eternal purpose. You see, according to the scriptures, mankind is spirit, he has a soul and he dwells in a body. The real person that is made in the image of God and after His likeness, is the spirit man; for God is Spirit and those who worship Him, worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). That woman of Samaria at the well of Jacob might have had children from all five husbands she had had. Let us say she had one child from each marriage, she now has five children. Let us say she is a brown woman, for people in the Middle East are brown people. Her first husband is a brown man. She has a brown child with him. Her second husband is a white man, even one of the Roman soldiers posted in her region. She has a mixed race child with him: brown-white. The Roman soldier was posted to another region and she could not go with him.
She then married an Ethiopian for the third time, who was working for the embassy of Ethiopia in Israel. She had a mixed race child with him, black-brown. That Ethiopian diplomat was now posted to the embassy in Rome, so she could not stay married to him. Her fourth husband was a Korean merchant of pearl. She had a mixed race child with him, brown-yellow. The merchant found the pearl of great value he had been looking for his entire life, and returned to Korea. Her fifth husband was an American Indian; she had a mixed race child with him, brown-red. He also returned to his tribe. She had given up on the idea of marriage all together, but did not want to stay alone, so she was living in fornication with this mixed race Samaritan man, and now she is pregnant with her sixth child. That is when she met Jesus at the well of Jacob.
I know you will say: brother Gery you have some imagination! It is not imagination, but it is what I have encountered in ministry. A sister came to me, she was from Nigeria, she had her first child with this mixed race man. She had her second child with a Congolese from D.R.C and she had her third child with a Nigerian. Then she came to Christ Jesus. Another Jamaican sister had five children with five different men of different skin colour and nationality. Then she met Jesus Christ. When you read John 4, they only say that the woman was married five times and was now living with a man who was not her husband, you should assume she was not barren, and if she was not, therefore children resulted from those unions. I have ministered to real life women of John 4. I want to tell you, you are accepted in the beloved Christ Jesus, and so are your children from those different unions (Ephesians 1:6). The whole world can judge you and condemn you, but Jesus Christ and His true ministers, do not judge you, nor condemn you; but whole heartedly accept you and all your children.
Always remember, mankind is a spirit, he has a soul and he dwells in a body. Your body, its complexion is not the real you, the real you made in the image of God and in His likeness is the spirit man. And it is your responsibility to renew your mind, part of your soul, according to the Holy Scriptures, so that you will see yourself how God sees you. The flesh, even your body and its skin complexion, profits nothing, but it is the spirit that gives life (John 6:63). If you stumble over your flesh, even your skin complexion, you will miss what God has pre-destined for eternity in your life. Now that you are born again, all your children, regardless of their skin colour, regardless of the fact that they have different fathers, God promises: all your children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children (Isaiah 54:13).
The person that God predestined to bring on earth through you is the spirit man that he placed in the body of your child. Paul tells us: The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of Heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands, nor is served with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives life and breath and all things to all. And He has made all nations of men of one blood, to dwell on all the face of the earth, ordaining fore-appointed seasons, and boundaries of their dwelling, to seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after Him, and find Him, though indeed He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also certain of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring (Acts 17:24-28).
All your children regardless of the fact that they have different fathers, or they have different nationalities, or they were born in different parts of the world, they were all created by God for a purpose. You should always praise the Lord, for all the children he gave you; for they are all fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are the works of God’s hand in their life, and your soul, should know the truth very well (Psalm 139:14). Let not the devil pollute your mind with ideas of your children not being predestined by God, because of the way they were conceived. Even though, the way they were conceived, violated the word of God and it was sin; it was the enemy, even the devil, that meant it for evil against you; but God, who does not punish the children for the mistakes of their parents, in His infinite mercy, meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive (Genesis 50:20, Jeremiah 31:29-30).
Was polygamy God’s will? The answer is no! Yet, Joseph who was born to Jacob from his second wife Rachel, was destined by God to save his family and the whole world. And the twelve sons of Jacob, born from his two wives and two concubines, received the blessing of the Lord and God destined them to greatness. When you read Genesis 49, you will see Jacob pronouncing the blessing of God over all his sons, one after another. Even Joseph who married Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On, in Genesis 41:45; Jacob before dying asked Joseph to bring his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh before him, that he may put the blessing on them so that they can share in the blessing of Abraham.
In Genesis 48, Jacob blessed the sons of Joseph. Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed his face to the earth. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left, and Manasseh in his left toward Israel’s right hand. And he brought them near to him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left on Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands. For Manasseh was the first-born (Genesis 48:12-14). Basically Jacob made the sign of the cross with his outstretched hands. And Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, and it was evil in his eyes. And he held up his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said to his father, Not so, my father. For this is the first-born. Put your right hand on his head. And his father refused and said, I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he shall also be great, but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he is, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations (Genesis 48:17-19).
Jacob knew exactly what he was doing when he crossed his hands to bless the children. He put the cross over them, even the finished work of Jesus on the cross over the sons of Joseph. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone having been hanged on a tree”); so that the blessing of Abraham might be to the nations in Jesus Christ, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:13-14). When you are born again, your children are sanctified because of you, even if their father is unsaved, even if all your children are from a different husband, they are sanctified because of you being born again. Paul tells us: For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else your children would be unclean, but now they are holy (1Corinthians 7:14). There are many examples in the bible of people who were born out of wedlock; yet God’s eternal purpose in their life was not stopped by the devil: Jephthah was one of them.
4. Jephthah (Judges11)
Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of a harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. And Gilead’s wife bore him sons; and his wife’s sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, you shall not inherit in our father’s house; for you are the son of a strange woman (Judges 11:1-2). In one of the translations, or paraphrases of the Old Testament scripture, in the Chaldee language: the Targum of Jonathan, the Jewish explain that Jephthah’s mother was an inn-keeper, who offered more than just a lodging to her clients. She was a concubine of Gilead, the descendant of Manasseh, the son of Joseph. But she was from one of the tribes of Israel. She was a stranger. People may say that the birth of the child was just the result of an affair, they did not really want to have a child, as they have their own children with their wife.
Today many women have children with someone who is already married, or someone who leaves them to go and live with another woman. They say their wife, or their new wife, plus the children they have had with them, are their priority. We just had a fling or a mid life crisis. So they sever us from any provision and any inheritance. They basically disown us altogether. The same God that heard the voice of the innocent lad, Ishmael, will also hear the voice of Jephthah. God promised Ishmael to make him great; he will do the same thing for Jephthah. As we read the account of the life of Jephthah who was severed from his inheritance, for the possession of his father, we see how God exalted Jephthah far above all the other sons of his father Gilead. God made Jephthah Judge over all Israel, he ruled all Israel. The other sons of Gilead, were only fighting for the small inheritance of their father and the leadership of the clan and the tribe of Manasseh. But God gave Jephthah more than the leadership over a clan or the tribe of Manasseh, but the leadership over all the twelve tribes of Israel.
Sisters do not be afraid, men may have closed the door of their possessions and severed you and your children, because they think you and your children are not good enough for them. But let me tell you when men close doors, God opens a door that no one can shut, He blesses you with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. The Lord God commands a blessing upon you and your storehouses, and in all that you set your hand unto; and he shall bless you and your children (Deuteronomy 28:8). And all these blessings shall come on you and your children, and overtake you (Deuteronomy 28:2). The Lord will exalt your children far above all the other people, that thought they could crush your dream and your children’s dream, by not providing for them what was rightfully theirs. It shall be well with you and your children. The bible says: by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word must be established (2 Corinthians 13:1). We have seen how God, through Jesus provided for and made great both Ishmael and Jephthah. God will do the same thing for you and your children, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
No one will ever be able to destroy your bright future in Jesus’ name. Sisters, your children and you have this treasure in you; you may think, how will I ever survive with my children? I am just a woman, I am weak. Sister, God will work through you and your children, and empower you to excel and reach the full potential, of what He wanted you and your children to be in life. We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us (2 Corinthians 4:7). Right now you might feel as if you have trouble on every side, yet I can assure you, you are and will not be distressed; you are perplexed or puzzled about many things, but not in despair or hopelessness (2 Corinthians 4:8). You are a prisoner of Hope (Zechariah 9:12). You cannot help it but to hope, for hope is the anchor of your soul (Hebrews 6:19). You are in that boat with your children, and with that revelation of what Jesus did in the life of Ishmael and Jephthah, you can only drift away so far and then come back. For you know that Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
He is the one who promoted Jephthah and Ishmael, for promotion or exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west,.
nor from the south But God is the Judge: He puts down one and exalts another (Psalm 75:6-7). For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save (Yasha: rescue, give us the victory, preserve us, avenge us) my children and me (Isaiah 33:22). I know it is well and it will always be well with my children and me.
5. The coming of Jesus
Our Lord Jesus is from the tribe of Judah. Judah is one of the twelve sons of Jacob. In Genesis 38, we have the account of Judah and Tamar. Judah married Shua a Canaanite woman, and she bore him three sons: Er, Onan and Shelah. Judah took a wife for his first son Er, by the name of Tamar. But Er was wicked, and he died, so according to the customs of the east, when a man dies and leaves no heir, his brother is supposed to take his wife, and give him an heir (Mark 12:19-23). Therefore Judah asked his second son Onan to go to Tamar and marry her, and raise up an heir for his brother Er (Genesis 38:6-8). But Onan knew that the heir would not be his, but Er’s, so he did all he could, not to get Tamar pregnant (Genesis 38:9-10). He wanted his father Judah to share the inheritance in two. When his brother Er was alive, Er being the firstborn, would have received the double portion of the inheritance which means 1/2, and then Onan and Shelah would be receiving 1/4 each. Now with Er dead and without an heir, Onan would be receiving 2/1 of the inheritance and Shelah 1/1.
Onan did not want to raise an heir for Er, because he would be losing money. And since Er was dead, the inheritance would be given to Tamar, until the child was mature to handle his inheritance. That’s why Onan did not want to impregnate Tamar. God was not happy with Onan so he too died because of his wickedness. So Judah was supposed to give Shelah to Tamar, so that Tamar could give an heir to Er. But Judah was afraid to also lose Shelah, for he knew the temptation was too much. For he knew that Shelah would be tempted to keep 100% of the inheritance for himself, since his other bothers were dead. He would never want to get 1/1 and give 2/1 to Tamar and her baby. So Judah said to Tamar that Shelah was too young, but when he gets to marriageable age, he will give him to her.
But when Shelah was of marriageable age, Judah did not give him to Tamar. He dealt wrongly with her. So Tamar decided also to deceive Judah. She disguised herself as a harlot, and Judah went with her because he did not recognise her. So she was pregnant with twins and gave birth to Perez and Zerah(Genesis 38:29). Judah after that one night stand experience with Tamar, did not want to have anything to do with Tamar anymore. But God is God. He gave a great future to the sons of Tamar and their descendants. In Matthew 1, the genealogy of Jesus, Tamar is listed, her son Perez had a great descendant like Boaz who was a rich man, David and all the kings of Judah, and finally Jesus Christ who is the Son of David.
Sisters, men might have abandoned you with your children. They may say that they want to have nothing to do with you anymore, because they say you deceived them; like Judah was accusing Tamar, but when the investigation was made, everyone knew that it was Judah that dealt treacherously with Tamar. Sisters, it is well with you and with your children, they are accepted in the beloved, and they have a bright future ahead of them. Jesus Himself is the descendant of Perez, one of the twins of Tamar, even if Judah did not want to have anything to do with Tamar and her twins, God had the greatest plan for those twins, and Jesus, the Only Begotten son of the Father, came from that lineage.
Jesus did not hide His genealogy, everybody can read it, and know what background he came from. It shall be well with you and your children. Jesus is not ashamed of you and your children. He loves you and your children, he will always be on your side. He will never leave you nor forsake you. You are accepted in the beloved, Jesus.
6. The death and burial of father Abraham
Genesis 23:1 And Sarah was a hundred twenty seven years old, the years of the life of Sarah.
Genesis 23:2 And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. And Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
Genesis 25:1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
Genesis 25:2 And she bore him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.
Genesis 25:3 And Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim and Letushim and Leummim.
Genesis 25:4 And the sons of Midian: Ephah and Epher and Hanoch and Abida and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah.
Genesis 25:5 And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac.
Genesis 25:6 But to the sons of the concubines [Hagar and Keturah] which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts. And he sent them away from Isaac his son while he still lived, eastward to the east country.
Genesis 25:7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, which he lived: a hundred seventy-five years.
Genesis 25:8 And Abraham expired and died in a good old age, old and satisfied. And he was gathered to his people.
Genesis 25:9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre,
Genesis 25:10 the field which Abraham bought from the sons of Heth. Abraham and Sarah his wife were buried there.
Now I will tell you a real life story. I used to know a couple in one of the churches in the United Kingdom. As far as everybody in the church was concerned, they were a nice elderly couple with only four children. They used to go to one of the pastors of the church for counselling. That pastor was also a friend of mine; and at times he would call me and ask me to pray in my closet for that family, and what they were going through. Which I did, for they were a very nice godly family, they loved the Lord with all their heart and were always seeking to know more of the word of God and to do the will of God.
After five years of having a distant contact with them; for I would visit them sometimes twice a year. One night the Lord showed me a vision. And in that vision I was in the country of origin of that couple. And I saw two other children from other relationships. When I came out of that vision I telephoned that pastor friend who was counselling that elderly couple. I told him: the Lord has revealed to me that the husband has two other children from different relationships. And he was not aware of that; neither were the other pastors of that church. But in the course of that year, his wife mentioned the existence of the other children in passing, to the wife of the pastor who was counselling them.
The husband gave up the ghost within a year, and was buried three weeks later. During the service of song in church; the night before the funeral service and burial of the husband; everybody praised the Lord for he has gone to glory, and a couple of people came forward to give a true and moving testimony, about his Christian life and his love for his family and God. Then the time for the children to give the tribute to the memory of their father came. As far as the church was concerned, there were only four children; for these are the ones they used to see coming with them to church. But six children came forward.
They gave the microphone to the first one. And he said that he is actually the first born of the late man. The man was married to his mother and he was born, but his mother died when he was still very little. So he could not raise the little child on his own, so the child was raised by the parents of his late wife. Later the man remarried and had four children with his new wife. They gave the microphone to another one. The church did not know this one either; for he is not one of the four they know. He said: I am also the son of the man; but I have always been based in our country of origin, not in the United Kingdom. Now people started to whisper in the church, because they understood that he was born out of an affair that the man had had. He continued to say: the first time I met my father, I was 13 years old, and the second time I met my father, I was 30 years old. But I retained a good memory of my father when I met him, and how he spoke to me and the advice he gave me.
That son truly moved my heart, and I was in pain for him. He spoke nice words about his father and honoured the memory of his father. And then they gave the microphone to the other four children of the wife, and they also spoke about their father. Yes, the man was truly great, a man after God’s own heart like father Abraham. After the end of the service of songs; they prepared some refreshments. And that son, who only met his father twice, was going round the church and greeting many people. He saw me hugging and talking to one of the daughters of his father, and came to me and said: hello, I am her brother! And she replied: he also is my brother! He reached out to the other children of his father. And the next day during the funeral service and the burial, the four sons carried the coffin of their father and the two daughters were marching in front of the procession with their mother.
During those two days, the scripture that came into my mind was the funeral of father Abraham. Isaac was there, the son of his late wife Sarah. Ishmael was there, the son of Hagar his concubine; and the children Abraham had with Keturah were there as well. Think about Ishmael, he only stayed in his father’s house for thirteen years, and then had to leave with his mother. But this man’s son only saw his father twice in his whole life; yet he came to his funeral. He is to be commended, so is Ishmael and the children of Keturah. I prayed for that son who only saw his father twice, with my whole heart that he would find acceptance in Christ Jesus, but also with his other brothers and sisters. The first born son kept more contact with his father, and the father was always encouraging him in his studies and personal life.
My grandfather, my father’s daddy, was married to my grandmother and had five children with his wife; my father is his first born. And he had taken a concubine and had a daughter with her. When I was growing up I always thought that my father only had one brother and three sisters. And one day I saw his other sister. And my father explained everything to us. Though she feels that she is not part of the family; my father is always reaching out to her, and never treats her as a half sister. She has a portion in the inheritance of her father, just like the other children. My father, as the first born, made sure she was not treated differently from the other children, as far as the inheritance is concerned. And as far as family is concerned, he is always reaching out to her. The bible says: a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children (Proverbs 13:22). So those children you had with your concubine, are still your children, and their children are your grandchildren. So leave them an inheritance too. One of the secrets of my father is, that he reads his bible every day. And he always used to tell me, that polygamy is not good; because it affects the children, and they become enemies for life, if the inheritance is not well divided. He always used to tell us of father Abraham who did not rightly divide the inheritance between his children, and now even thousands of years later, Israel is always at enmity with Ishmael and the sons of Keturah.
Yes, some people were not Christian when they used to have concubines. So they have children with those concubines. Some Christians were also weak in faith, and made mistakes in their marriage like father Abraham. God wants you to take care of all those children; be there for them, leave them an inheritance too, not just gifts; because you are a good man (Proverbs 13:22). Divide your inheritance in a fair way, so that even those who are the children of the concubines, may receive an inheritance not just gifts. And when the children of the concubine are growing up, keep in contact with them; allow them to come and stay at yours for the weekends, or on holidays, let them meet their brothers and sisters. For the bible says: break your bread to the hungry, and you should bring home the wandering poor? When you see the naked and cover him; and you will not hide yourself from your own flesh (Isaiah 58:7). Those children are your own flesh. Some Christians are praying and fasting: God is just saying go, take care of your children, they are your flesh and blood, do not hide from them!
Do not let them only meet you when you are on your dying bed, or in your coffin. Do not let them meet their brothers and sisters only on the day of your funeral service. Agape love is to do unto others what you want to be done unto you (Matthew 7:12). Put yourself in the shoes of those children of your concubine. Do they not need their father in their life? Do they not need the inheritance of their father? Of course, you should stop having any affair with their mother; but you should be there for your children. In countries where polygamy is recognized by the law; the children of the concubines receive a part of the inheritance of their father. If unbelievers know how to do right, should Christians not show a better example?
And you who are children of the married woman, not of the concubine; if your parents did not know how to treat the children of the concubines fairly, you must treat them well. If they are willing, establish contact with them; give them a part of the inheritance. Houses and money come and go. What is important is the people. Do not have people in your life that rightfully hate you, because they have been unfairly treated in the share of the inheritance. Paul tells us: the love of money is the root of all evil (1Timothy 6:10). If you have to give some of your inheritance to your other brothers and sisters, the children of the concubine, it will not be the end of the world. Isaac did not correct the wrong Abraham did to his other brothers and sisters. Yes, at first the sons of the concubines [Hagar and Keturah] hated Abraham, for only giving them gifts and not an inheritance. Then after a while they said to themselves: wait a second! Who received all that inheritance? The answer is Isaac! So they transferred that hatred to Isaac, and they have been at enmity ever since!
7. Another real life story
A dearest sister telephoned and was narrating a family situation to me, she wanted scriptural advice about that family situation. She told me that in a particular family. there was a woman who was married to her beloved husband, and they had children together. Unfortunately the marriage did not last, and the man married another woman. But the mother of those children left the children when they were young, and it was their step mother that raised them. After the children had grown up and were working, the biological mother wanted to be back in the life of the children. The children are now Christians, and so is the biological mother. But most of the time, when the biological mother pays a visit to her children and grandchildren; the children make all kinds of excuses so that she will not come to visit. There are so many so-called “prophets” who have given prophecies, that the devil was the one making her children not honour her with their finances, and all kinds of other things.
And the biological mother said to the children that it was God who told her to leave her children, to be raised up by the husband and his new wife. You see that is why God tells us through Paul, to judge every prophecy, saying: let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge (1Corinthians 14:29). The problem in the church is, that nobody judges prophecy anymore, or what someone says “god” supposedly told him or her, if we judged prophecies in churches, a lot of the problems in families and churches would have been solved and avoided. Whatever God says to anyone, it will always line up with the written word of God, for God never speaks outside His written word.
First of all, will God tell any woman, or any man or woman, who is born again, to leave his children to be brought up by another man or another woman, when a divorce happens? What does God say about it? This is what Jesus says: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chickens beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me (Matthew 23:37). So Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit, liken themselves to a hen that gathers and protects her chicks under her wings. Now a hen or chicken is not courageous normally, that is why, when a person is a coward, we call him or her a chicken. But when a hen has eggs, she sits on them and hatches them, or produces young from eggs by incubation; she is ready to die for those eggs and those chicks, she will not move from there for days and only leave to go and eat something and immediately return to her nest. She keeps them warm while she is not even warm herself. She has them under her wings and protects them, and when you come after them, no matter how tall you are as a human, that little hen will fight you back to prevent you from stealing one of her eggs or chicks.
So that is how God sees us, He has the heart that the hen has for her chicks. And sometimes the chicks want to come out from underneath the hen’s wings, but she brings them back under her wings. That is why Jesus who wanted to gather Jerusalem under His wings to protect them, and keep them warm, was willing to even die for Jerusalem on the cross, and not just for Jerusalem, but for all the world that He wants to gather and protect under His wings. Jesus, like the hen, will do everything even die to gather the children under His wings. But if the children refuse to be gathered under the wings of Jesus, Jesus does not give up, He keeps sending His messengers day and night to tell those children to come back under His wings, like Jeremiah said: again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate (Jeremiah 44:4)!’ so if your children have run away from you, or do not want to receive you in their house, do not give up as a father or as a mother, be like a hen who will try again and again, even like Jesus.
It is God’s plan to restore your children to you no matter what your mistakes were, as a mother or father who did not gather his or her children under his or her wings, but left them be brought up by someone else. This is how God describes a man or woman who leaves his or her children, saying: Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but My people have become heartless like ostriches in the desert. Because of thirst, the infant’s tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth; the children beg for bread, but no one gives it to them (Lamentation 4:3-4). The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully or proudly, though they cannot compare with the wings and feathers of the stork or peacocks. For she abandons her eggs to the earth and warms them in the dust (Job39:13-14). So Jesus does not want us to act like the ostrich that is heartless, and abandons her children, and does not provide for them, whether we are a man or a woman. Many times it is because that man or woman is proud like the peacock.
Some men and women would say, if I have the children with me, it will slow down my life style, I will not be able to party, drive my sports car, I will be working only to feed them, and they would be a hindrance to me to meet a new man or a new woman, thus I do not want that baggage, I would rather leave them for someone else to raise them up. So that man or woman flap their hands joyfully, for they think the children that they have left to be raised by someone else, will not be a burden to them, as the ostrich flaps her wings joyfully, because she thinks she is free to fly away from her responsibilities. But the truth is just like the ostrich does not fly in the natural world, so that man or woman who are flapping their wings joyfully, thinking they will fly away from their responsibilities, are deceiving themselves, those responsibilities will sooner or later come upon them, and overtake them whether for good or bad, for do not be deceived, whatsoever a man or woman sows, that’s what he or she shall reap!
So we understand that according to these scriptures, God could never have told that woman, to leave her children to be raised by the other woman. But what does God say about the woman or the man who raises the children of another man or woman, in a case where there is a restructured home, or legal adoption? God says: children are a heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). So whether they are your biological children or your adopted children, they are a heritage from the Lord. You and I when we became born again, God adopted us as sons and daughters of His, He made us heirs and joint heirs with Christ Jesus His only begotten Son or “biological Son”. Please read the bible study on the Perfect Redemption Plan, Part I, to understand what God fully means, and how He treats us when He adopts us, and that is our only standard for restructured homes and adopted children.
Joseph the husband of Mary, was not the biological father of Jesus, but he accepted that the child Jesus was a heritage from the Lord to him, and he raised Jesus like his own biological child. As far as the people were concerned, Jesus was the biological son of Joseph. As it is written: coming to His hometown, Jesus began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas (Matthew 13:54-55)? So the people knew how Joseph and Mary treated all their children equally, and there were no external signs that Jesus was not the son of Joseph, as far as the people were concerned. And as far as Mary was concerned, Joseph was the father of Jesus, and she saw to it that the boy Jesus, saw Joseph as his father, though he was not his biological father.
Joseph truly cared for Jesus as his own son as it was once recorded for us, saying: when they saw Jesus in the temple, they were amazed, for they had searched for Him for three days because he was missing from the company that was returning from Jerusalem and His mother said to Him: Son why have you done this to us? Your father and I have sought You anxiously. And Jesus said to them: why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? Then Jesus went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to Joseph and Mary. And Jesus who at that time was twelve years old, increased in wisdom and stature and favour before God and men (Luke 2:41-52).
You see God did not need Joseph because Jesus was born of a virgin woman named Mary. But God is so interested in the home and in marriage, even if it is a restructured home like that of Joseph and Mary. Marriage is the first institution that God ordained in the Garden of Eden. In the eyes of God He wants us to have things in this order: first of all the relationship with the Godhead: reading the bible, studying the bible and praying must be established in everybody’s life. Second you need to take care of yourself, for if you do not have time for yourself, time to take care of yourself; you will always be tired and not give your best to anyone. Many men of God or women of God do not take care of themselves, so they let the ministry run their life. If you do not rest physically, you will always be exhausted and a person who is exhausted cannot be fully functional. That is why God made the Sabbath and commanded everybody in Israel to rest, and never break that Sabbath as Jesus explained: man and woman were not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made for man and woman, because God knew they would work and work and never have time for God, for themselves, and for their family (Mark 2:27).
The third priority is to take care of the marriage relationship, before God ordained any ministry, or offices of the five fold ministry; He ordained marriage. Many ministers of God put their church and church members before their marriage, and they end up divorcing. If you violate God’s priorities in your life, you may be successful as a minister, but fail in your marriage. Take decisions about everything as a couple, and even if the children are not your biological children, you must still take all decisions including the decisions about every child under your roof together. The decisions about the ministry, the business, etc, take them together. Do not allow the church, church members, or children to take the time you spend together as a married couple. Plan your outings as a couple, keep falling in love and doing the things that made you fall in love in the first instance. Jesus puts it this way: I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place (Revelation 2:4-5).
The fourth priority is your children; the fifth priority is work or business, you need to feed your family: for he or she that cannot provide for those of his or her own household, is worse than an unbeliever for even unbelievers who do not have the knowledge of the word of God and of God, know that they must provide for their family. The sixth priority is the work of the ministry. Please obey those priorities that God set in your life, and it shall be well with you, your marriage, your children, your business and your work of ministry. People will say children must come before even the marriage! That is why some women mess up their marriage, because the moment they have children they put all their energy into those children, and neglect to keep working on their relationship as a married couple. And step by step they end up becoming two housemates that are there to bring up the children. Children will grow up and leave the house. And if the couple does not work on their marriage, while they are raising the children, by the time the children are eighteen years old and leave the house, the house is so empty and the husband and wife are now strangers in their own house. That is why some mother-in-laws are always in their daughter’s house because their daughter grew to become their best friend, instead of their husband being their best friend; they are overly involved in the marriage of their children, trying to run their children’s home.
Do not let this happen in your marriage. Mary did not allow Jesus to mess her marriage up; yes the boy Jesus wanted to do His Father God’s will. But Mary put her foot down, you come home with us and be subject to Joseph your father, and when you are of age, you can go out of the house and look for Your Father. And we see when Jesus was 30 years old He left Joseph’s house, and went to be about His Father God’s business. As long as He was not of age, He was doing Joseph’s business. Joseph gave Him education, and He became a carpenter like Joseph, and He was subject to Joseph and Mary. Yes children must be friends with their parents, even best friends, just like God the Father called Abraham His friend. So in our priorities, God must be our first best friend, then our spouse, our second best friend, and then our children our third best friend. It is wrong that outside people including ministers of God, should take the place of your spouse or children as the second and third best friend.
Some women or men, when they are in a restructured home, do not command their biological children to be subject to their spouse. And some men or women, who are in a restructured home, do not embrace or adopt the children of their spouse, into their heart. For that home to work, each spouse must embrace the children of the other spouse, even adopt them into their heart as their own biological children. For as long as those children are in your house, remember they are a heritage of the Lord to you, irrespective of the fact that they are your biological children or not. Throughout the book of Matthew, God speaks to Joseph about what to do with the child Jesus: to take Him down to Egypt (Matthew 2:13), later to bring Him and the whole family back to Israel (Matthew 2:20). So as far as God is concerned: the child Jesus was His heritage to Joseph, though Joseph was not His biological father. So the child Jesus and His destiny, dictated where the whole family moved. If Joseph did not embrace Jesus as his own son and a heritage from the Lord to Him personally, he would not have done all he did, because he had to relocate, and even be in danger, because of the child Jesus, who was not even his biologically.
So if you are in a restructured home, I urge you by the mercies of God, to see the children of your husband or of your wife, as your own children, and embrace them even as your adopted children even if you do not adopt them legally, and study what God means by adoption when He adopted us in the bible study: Perfect Redemption Plan, Part I. Jesus never called Joseph step father, but father; and Mary when she talked to Jesus about her husband Joseph, she said to Him: Your father and I have sought you anxiously, not Your step father and I (Luke 2:48). And anybody that raises children that are not biologically theirs, this is how God sees him or her, saying: like a partridge or a quail that hatches eggs it did not lay, are those who gain riches by unjust means. When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them, and in the end they will prove to be fools (Jeremiah 17:11 NIV). Remember those children, that other people conceived, and that you decided to bring up, because you believed that they are the heritage of the Lord to you, are great riches to you. That partridge or quail, saw those eggs, or for Joseph, that pregnancy, which is but an egg in the womb of a woman, and decided to hatch that egg.
Joseph brought that child up until He grew up in wisdom, both spiritual wisdom of the Word of God, and secular wisdom: academic education and a craftsman education of a carpenter, and he fed Jesus until He increased in stature, because He was well fed. This applies also for women, who raise the children that their husband had with another woman. What God is saying through Jeremiah: like a partridge or a quail that hatches eggs it did not lay are those who gain riches , is that if you treat those children well, and show them your love as if they were your own children, in the eyes of those children, you will always be their mum or their dad. Jesus told us, who have been adopted in the family of God, to call God Abba Father (Mark 14:36, Galatians 4:6). You can be a mother, but you are not a mum like that ostrich, you have abandoned your eggs, you can be a father but not a dad because you have acted heartlessly like that ostrich, and abandoned your egg. But a dad or a mum, is the one who acts like the partridge or the quail, who takes care of those eggs that are not his or hers, he or she treats them the same as his or her own little one, just like God treats us the same and loves us the same as He loves Jesus. Please read the bible study on: perfect redemption plan, part I, to understand our adoption, and that is how you must relate to every child under your roof, whether he or she is yours or not.
It is not enough to do what the partridge or the quail, that hatched the eggs she did not lay, but how they treat those children is very important. If they treat them like Joseph treated Jesus as his own son, those children, even though they are well aware of the fact that they are not their biological father or mother, but they will always see them as their dad or mum. That affectionate person that brought them up as their own child, just like our Abba Father, who adopted us says: Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break out into singing, O mountains; for the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted. But Zion said, Jehovah has forsaken me, and my LORD has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have carved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are forever before Me (Isaiah 49:13-16). So you see God would never say to anybody, abandon your children and act like the ostrich. Just like you and I are so grateful to God for adopting us into the family, and for loving us as He loves Jesus. For that reason we are loyal to Him, and honour Him with our substances, and with all we have, we love Him because He first loved us, even though He knew we were not His naturally.
The same way children who have been brought up in a restructured home, will be loyal and love the mum or dad who lovingly brought them up, because they know they are not under any obligation to do so, because they were not their mother or father, but they loved those children freely when they were rejected and had no one to turn to. They came and embraced those children, even as they would embrace their own biological children. It is great riches to that mum or dad who hatch the eggs they did not lay. But when that man or woman mistreats the children of their spouse, even though they hatched those eggs which they did not lay; it will not be good riches to them, like Jeremiah gave us the comparison with unjust people, even wicked people who get their riches by unlawful means, saying: when their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them, and in the end they will prove to be fools (Jeremiah 17:11).
When that parent or those parents, who brought up those children who were not theirs, and mistreated them or never embraced them as their own children, are advanced in age; those children will desert them. For the children are true riches, not money. The bible says: the blessing of the Lord makes rich and He adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22). So God, when He blessed that restructured home, with those children who are His heritage to that parent or parents, it was a perfect gift from heaven that came with no sorrow, and the parent or parents who received that perfect gift, added sorrows to themselves when they decided not to treat those children the way God tells us in the bible. Those children will neglect them in their old age, and will want to have nothing to do with them, and at the end that parent or those parents will look like fools, for had they obeyed what God said in the bible regarding how to treat those children, they would have enjoyed that blessing of the Lord, and certainly not be sorrowful about it as they are doing now.
It is the same thing for legally adopted children, they will desert their adopted parents when they are old, if they were not well treated and not loved. The main reasons we keep coming back to God, are because we know He genuinely loves us and cares about us and takes care of us. He first loved us, this is why we love Him back. Some biological parents who acted like the ostrich, by abandoning their children to the care of other people, or some parents who adopted children, and also some husbands and wives who raise the children of their spouse, see those grown up children desert them, when they are of old age, and try to avoid them as much as they can. This is because those children are hurt and they are nursing wounds, they were in need of genuine love but only got rejection and were mistreated. Some biological parents want to make their come back into the lives of their children they abandoned, but without success, and especially when the children perceive that you have a hidden agenda: you are lonely in your old age and need people around you, you know that they are financially prosperous, and want to have a share in their financial prosperity.
The children who are now adults, will not want to have anything to do with you, even if they are Christians, because they do not want to re-open those wounds of rejection and manipulation again. They know deep inside them that your come back into their life is not genuine. Thus they avoid you because they do not want to be hurt again. The bible says: Let love be without hypocrisy or dissimulation, abhor or detest with passion evil, cleaving to good (Romans 12:9). So that is why those adult children do not want to come back to those parents, who acted like the ostrich, because they can perceive there is hypocrisy in that love, there is a dissimulated motive behind that sudden attempt to be reunited with the children you once abandoned. And when they know that it is their money you are after, they truly detest that idea with passion, no matter how you use scripture that children should honour their parent with their substances (Proverbs 3:9). It must come from their generous heart, not by compulsion and it must be according to what they have, and not according to what the biological parent, who is trying to make his or her come back, imposes on them (2Corinthians 8:12).
The adult children will cleave to or stick to or hold to what is good, for it is the only solid and reliable anchor they had when their whole world fell under their small feet. They will cleave to or stick or hold to that mum or dad who raised them in love. They will honour that mum or dad though they knew that he or she is not their biological father or mother. The biological mother or father, who acted like the ostrich, will always try to blame the mum or the dad who acted like the partridge or quail that lovingly hatched the eggs he or she did not lay, accusing them of having stolen the heart of their children, and accusing the biological parent that kept the children with him or her, to have taught the children not to love the parent who acted like the ostrich. The fact is, that some parents who were abandoned with the children, are still nursing wounds and unwittingly or unknowingly to them, they have, with the words of their mouth, bent the children not to love the parents who acted like the ostrich, but the main person to blame is the parents that acted like the ostrich.
For the bible says: you are our epistle or letter written in our hearts, known and read of all men (2Corinthians 3:2). What parents do, becomes written in the hearts of their children, and that is how the children will act towards people, and even toward those same parents. So what parents do is being watched by all men, including their own children. And the bible says: but God demonstrated His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Love is action, it is not passive, if you love me you will demonstrate it, you will not abandon me like the ostrich abandons its egg and goes flapping its wings like a peacock! God who loves me, demonstrated it by sending my elder brother to die on the cross for me, and He reassured me of my fear of being abandoned, saying: I will never leave you nor forsake you, so that you may boldly say; the Lord is my helper, I will not fear; what can man do to me (Hebrews 13:5-6)?
Now we understand that some people get married and they end up divorcing because one of the spouses did not obey the word of God. And some people also have a child with a man or a woman, but they did not get married. Yet that man and that woman decide to take care of the children together, though they are no longer together. In that case though the relationship did not work between the adults, they still provide and are there for their children. They are not acting like the ostrich for the ostrich abandoned the egg, and did not care whether it died of thirst or hunger, as it is written: even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but My people have become heartless like ostriches in the desert. Because of thirst the infant’s tongue sticks to the roof of its mouth; the children beg for bread, but no one gives it to them (Lamentation 4:3-4). The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully or proudly, though they cannot compare with the wings and feathers of the stork or peacocks. For she abandons her eggs to the earth And warms them in the dust (Job 39:13-14).
There are cases where one of the parents has an hidden agenda with the child, for him the child is just a means to get an immigration status, or a house from the social services, or wants the child for other criminal purposes or has been abusing the child physically or sexually. In that case, for the safety of the child and even the parent who has the child, we must even take legal action to have a restriction order from the court of law, so that the dangerous parent will not get in contact with the child. If you are having shared custody of children, that man or woman is not an ostrich because he or she is providing for the child, even though you are no longer together.
Then in the case of our dearest sister who wants to be reconciled with her children that she abandoned when they were little, to be brought up by the new wife of her ex-husband. What can she do because it is always God’s will to restore the family, no matter what went wrong and how people are wounded? The first thing to do, is to stop blaming other people for her mistakes, they may never be together again with that ex-husband the father of her children, since he remarried and has lived for years with his present wife. And as Christians we should never pray for people’s marriage to break up, so that we can be married to that man or woman as it is written: you shall not covet your neighbour’s house, your neighbour’s wife or your neighbour’s husband (Exodus 20:17). That man is now remarried, so that sister must not covet her ex-husband as he is now the husband of another.
And any minister of God who prays for that man to divorce his current wife, so that he can be married to another wife, even be remarried to the mother of her biological children, does not pray according to the will of God. Even if that man becomes born again, according to Paul in 1Corinthians 7, the Holy Spirit advises that man to remain with his current wife, even if she is not born again. But only when she refuses to stay with that man when he becomes born again, and she takes the initiative to divorce that man, certainly not the man who is born again taking the initiative to get a divorce; then that man is no longer under bondage he can remarry with a born again woman (1Corinthians 7:13-16). Let us still speculate and say that something like that happens. Should that man be remarried to his ex-wife? What does the Word of God say?
Deuteronomy 24:1 When a man has taken a wife and married her, and it happens that she finds no favour in his eyes, because he has found some uncleanness in her, then let him write her a bill of divorce and put it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
Deuteronomy 24:2 And when she has departed from his house, she goes and becomes another man’s;
Deuteronomy 24:3 and the latter husband hates her and writes her a bill of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house; or if the latter husband dies, he who took her to be his wife
Deuteronomy 24:4 her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife after she is defiled. For that is hateful before Jehovah. And you shall not cause the land to sin, which Jehovah your God gives you for an inheritance.
So when people divorce, and one of them remarries, and the one who remarried got a divorce, God does not advise him to go back to the first ex-wife. What people must know is, that God recognises marriage even the marriage of unbelievers. Marriage is marriage in the eyes of God and He hates divorce! Marriage is a blood covenant, not a mere contract and God is behind every marriage even the marriage of unbelievers. The scriptures in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is the scripture that Jesus was talking about when He said: It was also said, whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce (Matthew 5:31). The disciples said to Jesus, Why did Moses then command to give a bill of divorce and to put her away? He said to them, Because of your hard-heartedness Moses allowed you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it was not so (Matthew 19:7-8).
So before people get a divorce, they should read the scriptures and seek the counsel of the Lord and of a minister of the Gospel. And before they remarry, they must also think twice, because God does not want them to have another divorce and certainly not divorce their new wife to remarry their ex-wife, they are defiling the marriage bed over and over. Please read Matthew 5, Matthew 19, 1Corinthians 7 and Deuteronomy 24 to have a succinct idea on what God has to say about marriage and divorce. And always seek the counsel of a minister of the Gospel and pray. And any minister who follows the scripture and the counsel of the scriptures, will ask any man or woman who is divorcing his current wife or husband, to be remarried to his ex-wife or her ex-husband: why did you divorce that wife or husband in the first instance? Try to fix your current marriage for God hates divorce!
Back to our sister, she needs to apologise to her children face to face, they need to have a family meeting and if possible invite a minister of the gospel for a family reconciliation, since they are all born again. Isaiah says: Then you shall call, and Jehovah shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If you take the yoke away from among you, the pointing of the finger, and speaking vanity (Isaiah 58:9).
Yes the pointing of the finger, the blame game must stop, everybody must assume his or her responsibility starting with the mother who abandoned the children. The way God relates to us, is the same way He wants us to relate to our fellow humans. We are family, we are talking to our Father in heaven. That family reconciliation meeting is being held under the auspices of God the Father. And He says: therefore confess your trespasses, which are the sins or offences against your fellow human, to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). Healing of those wounds of rejection, will not take place until they have confessed their trespasses to each other, and forgiven each other from the bottom of their hearts, and prayed so that God may heal all their wounds. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1John 1:9). Those children want to hear a confession from their mother for abandoning them, that she stop blaming the devil for causing her children not to want to see her, or blaming God for supposedly telling her to leave her children.
That was the problem of Adam, he blamed everybody including God for his sin. He blamed the wife and God for giving him that wife, the wife blamed the devil who was in the form of a serpent. God wanted them to take away the pointing of the finger, and take their responsibility and say: I am sorry God I have sinned against You, there is nobody to blame but me. But instead they never confessed their sins, but started blaming other people. Just like to be born again, which is the reconciliation with God, we need to acknowledge the fact that we have sinned against Him and we need His forgiveness. We cannot be reconciled with our loved one that we have wounded so badly, if we do not confess to them the fact that we have trespassed against them.
Now if those children profess to be born again Christians, when their mother confesses her trespasses, they have no other choice but to forgive her. As the bible says: then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). In other words in a day of 24 hours, if you do not sleep you must forgive every 2 minutes 56 seconds, what Jesus is saying: always forgive people when they come and ask for your forgiveness. And then you can pray together as Jesus taught us: When you pray, say: Our Father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, as in Heaven, so also on the earth. Give us day by day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins or trespasses, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us or trespasses against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (Luke 11:2-4).
If they pray that prayer of Jesus, they have no other choice but to forgive their mother and to pray together. Now forgiveness does not mean that I condoned or approved what you did, it does not also mean that I am now suffering from amnesia that I forget all the evil you did to us. No, it means I decided to treat you and relate to you, not based on your mistakes, I have put them as far as the east is from the west they will never meet again, and I am telling you we can start a new relationship based on the Love of God that binds us together. We will have to learn to trust each other again, and it might not be over night but we will work at it and make it good for we know it is God’s will to reconcile our family.
Finally brothers and sisters, when you have read this letter, cause that it be read also in the church by every family and everybody you are discipling, and that you also read all the other letters of “My Weekly Milk” (Colossians 4:16). Brothers and sisters pray for me and for everybody who is discipling you directly, that you know by name. The grace and peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you, God bless you and keep you in the love of Jesus, Amen!