God Gives Growth

And God was with the boy, and he grew up.
GENESIS 21:20
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God Gives Growth
When the text states that God was with Ishmael, this is rich comfort, which shows that God opens heaven to us when we have been humbled, and that He abundantly pours forth Himself and all things. For Ishmael is not only led back to the right way in order that he may not continue to be presumptuous; but after he has been humbled, he is brought back into the Church from which he had been cast out because of his presumption, and God Himself appoints Himself as his Protector, directs him, blesses him, and now regards with favor everything he does. . . . The verb "he grew up" is to be understood not only of Ishmael's natural growth (for at the time of his excommunication he was twenty years old, more or less) but with regard to the fact that God caused him to become great, in the first place, in the Word and spiritual gifts; for, says Moses, God was with him. In the second place, God also blessed him temporally, so that he begot twelve princes. . .. Thus we learn how powerful a sacrifice a contrite heart is, and how pleasing a smoke or incense humiliation is to God. For the statement of the psalm (145:19) is true, that God fulfills the desire of those who fear Him; for they offer a holy sacrifice to God.
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