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From Eternity Past

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    Polygamy Brings Sorrow

    The birth of Isaac filled the tents of Abraham and Sarah with gladness, but to Hagar this event was the overthrow of her fondly cherished ambitions. Ishmael had been regarded by all as the heir of Abraham's wealth and the inheritor of the blessings promised his descendants. Now he was suddenly set aside. Mother and son hated the child of Sarah.EP 90.2

    The general rejoicing increased their jealousy, until Ishmael dared openly to mock the heir of God's promise. Sarah saw in Ishmael's turbulent disposition a perpetual source of discord, and she appealed to Abraham that Hagar and Ishmael be sent away.EP 90.3

    The patriarch was thrown into great distress. How could he banish Ishmael his son, still dearly beloved? In his perplexity he pleaded for divine guidance. Through a holy angel the Lord directed him to grant Sarah's desire; only thus could he restore harmony and happiness to his family. The angel gave him the promise that Ishmael would not be forsaken by God and he would become the father of a great nation. Abraham obeyed, but not without keen suffering. The father's heart was heavy as he sent away Hagar and his son.EP 90.4

    The sacredness of the marriage relation was to be a lesson for all ages. The rights and happiness of this relation are to be carefully guarded, even at great sacrifice. Sarah was the only true wife of Abraham. Her rights no other person was entitled to share. She was unwilling that Abraham's affections should be given to another, and the Lord did not reprove her for requiring the banishment of her rival.EP 90.5

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