In Genesis 17:20-21, God is discussing His covenant with Abraham. Around this part of the story He is informing Abraham that he will have a son from Sarah. We know the story that he laughs at God and God tells him to ironically name his son laughter or Isaac.
What I very seldom hear about is, Abrahams prayer for Ishmael. He asks to keep Ishmael growing strong, to bless him and although God does so, He even adds to that, “Ishmael will be the father to 12 princes and he will be made a great nation, but.”
And here is where the value comes in, here is where the difference between blessed and blessed under a covenant comes in. “But I will make my covenant with Isaac and Sarah”, he will bless the child from the marriage covenant with His own covenant.
The but is huge here, it always negates the previous portion of a thought or statement. Have you ever heard, “great job, but” or “that sounds great, but.” In this case God says how great Ishmael’s nation will be but, it won’t be anything compared to a covenant with The Father.
What nation are you building without the covenant of Christ covering it?
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?