God’s Word Is Alive
He Was Persecuted As a Child
AS A youth, you probably find it hard today to be a true Christian. You may be ridiculed for not smoking or taking drugs. Or you may be persecuted for not sharing in ceremonies or celebrations that conflict with Bible principles. This brings to mind the persecution of Isaac, the young son of Abraham and his beloved wife Sarah.
For Isaac the trouble came to a head during a feast that Abraham spread on the day that Isaac was weaned. At the time, Isaac was about five years old. Mothers nursed their children much longer in those days. During the feast, Ishmael, Abraham’s teenaged son by his Egyptian slave girl Hagar, began mocking and poking fun at his young half brother. This was not just a children’s quarrel. It was the malicious taunting of a much smaller child. The Bible says that Ishmael actually “began persecuting” Isaac.—Gal. 4:29.
Sarah saw what was going on, and she did not like it at all. Evidently Ishmael’s mocking of Isaac involved the matter of who would inherit what Abraham had received. So Sarah went to Abraham and said: ‘Tell Hagar and her son to leave. He is not going to share in the inheritance that belongs to my son Isaac.’
This upset Abraham. He did not want to send Ishmael away, because he too was his son. But God told Abraham to listen to his wife Sarah. So Abraham provided Hagar and Ishmael with needed provisions for their trip and sent them away.—Gen. 21:8-14.
A person who is being persecuted can draw comfort from this Bible account about Isaac. Why? Because the taunting by Ishmael was, in time, put to a stop. Jehovah God saw to it that Abraham acted to remove the source of the problem from his household. Likewise today, God will never permit you to suffer more than you can bear. He will give you the strength to endure, or he will see to it that eventually the source of the problem is removed.—1 Cor. 10:13.