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QQC—The Boy, Ishmael

Quirks, Queries and Commentary—Genesis 21

Ishmael was 14 years old when Isaac was born, so he must have been somewhere between 15 and 17 when Isaac was weaned. On that day, Abraham held a great feast to celebrate the weaning of his son and Sarah became jealous of Ishmael’s status as eldest son. “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” (Genesis 21:10 NIV)

Abraham was naturally distressed—Ishmael was his son, after all—but God confirmed Sarah’s wish to get rid of Hagar and her son so Abraham gave them some food and water and sent them away.

What’s curious to me is that if Ishmael is somewhere between 15 and 17 years old, he would have been a strong young man, yet he is repeatedly referred to as a boy and it is his mother who carries the food and water, not him.
“When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, ‘I cannot watch the boy die.’” (v.15, 16 NIV)
She put him under one of the bushes. Was she so strong and he so small that she could do this? I certainly couldn’t have when my boys were that age.


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I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

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Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …