Loved above All Things

So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away.
Loved above All Things
This is an outstanding example of obedience, faith, and all good conduct, but especially of true obedience toward God; for these events did not happen in as brief a time as the words make it sound. Nevertheless, they had to be described in this manner, in order that we might learn from Abraham's example that God must be loved above all things, and loved so perfectly that you love nothing in the entire world in the same way, neither your wife nor your children nor your own life. . . . It was God's will expressed by a definite word that Ishmael should leave his home and his native country and should wait for God's blessing in another place than in the land of Canaan. . .. [Abraham's] faith, strengthened by a trustworthy assurance, smothers all thoughts of the flesh, though not without difficulty and great grief, and simply clings to this hope: "God will look out for them. God will take care of them, for He loves them more than I do and will be more able to help them." Accordingly, this example is suitable for us to learn to do quickly and without argument whatever we know has been commanded by the Word of God.
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