“Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.” Genesis 25:8 KJV “And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.” Genesis 25:17 “And Isaac gave up the ghost and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.” Genesis 35:29
“And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed and yielded up the ghost and died, and was gathered unto his people.” Genesis 49:33
Please read the above verses carefully. If it were all the same group of people unto whom these Old Testament men were gathered, what a tribute to Abraham, that even Ishmael was “gathered” to his people, as well as Isaac and Jacob!
Of Ishmael it was prophesied that “he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren” (Gen. 16:12). God knew Abraham, “that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord” (Gen. 18:19). Even though Ishmael was cast out from being Abraham’s heir, it appears that he continued following the way of the Lord, for Scripture says, “God was with the lad; and he grew” (Gen. 21:20). There is always hope for our own children who may appear outcasts, but who may, in time, be gathered unto His people.
By Tom Steere
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org