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This question is an offshoot from this question and it’s comments. The question is:

Why does God remains silent for 13 long years after Hagar gives birth to Ishmael and then suddenly commands Abraham to walk blamelessly before Him. Was God annoyed with Abraham for some reasons?

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There are several accounts in the scripture where we can find Abraham lacking in the uprightness God desires of His children.

Although a man of faith as we know, there were times Abraham doubted the ability of God to provide, deliver and fulfil His promises. In Gen. 12, after God led him to the land of Cannan and famine struck, he didn't trust God for provision. This indeed is lack of faith although it was the early stage of his conversion. Hence, Abraham travelled Egypt to be confronted with a circumstance that made him engage in conspiracy to deceive the Egyptians (vs 12). Although many believers have called Abraham a liar and all sorts, words which I'm very careful to use because the scripture didn't explicitly say so. I rather stick to the point that Abram doubted God and deceived Egyptians. Thereafter, the doubt of Abraham and Sarah took a different dimension resulting in the extra- marital union with Hagar which preceded the birth of the troublesome Ishmael.

These are not blameless life God wants. Morever, a lot of other things that might not have been recorded in the scripture because they won't be necessary for our learning might had taken place necessitating God's rebuke. What this tells us is that Abraham was a man just like us and wrestled with challenges of life and sins as we do today. Another thing to learn is that God's standard has always remained the same: ' walk before me and be thou perfect'.

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God makes His first announcement of Promise to Abraham in the following verse.

Gen: 12:2 Then I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, so that you will exemplify divine blessing. 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse, and all the families of the earth will bless one another by your name.”

During intervening period, Abraham doubts about this promise several times, as seen in these verses (Gen. 15:2,15:4-5, 15:8) and every time God reassures him.

Abraham believed God but his trust wavers every time when he ponders about his age. As God was continuously promising them (Abraham and Sarah) and with no off-springs of their own, they thought of taking things into their own hands instead of depending on God. Sarah did a foolish thing something which was against God’s wish.

Gen. 16:2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Since the Lord has prevented me from having children, have sexual relations with my servant. Perhaps I can have a family by her.” Abram did what Sarai told him.

Sarah tempted her men to try something against God’s wish. Similar instance we see with Eve. Sarah did not have patience to remain trusted in God and did something which she thought fit but it went against the wish of God. Ishmael was born because Abraham and Sarah did not trust God to fulfill His promise.

Gen. 16:16 Now Abram was 86 years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.

And then the Sign of the Covenant.

Gen. 17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the sovereign God. Walk before me and be blameless. 17:2 Then I will confirm my covenant between me and you, and I will give you a multitude of descendants.”

There is no record in the Bible concerning the 13 years of Abraham’s life following the birth of Ishmael. But God’s rebuke shows that Abraham did not walk before God, and as a result, his life was full of blame. Also notice that God re-introduces himself as “God almighty.” God puts a condition to Abraham, saying walk before me blameless and only then He will confirm His covenant between Him and Abraham. Here God wants to reconfirm the same again with condition.

Change of names for a new begining:

Because of a lack of faith and doubt, Ishmael was born. This was not God’s plan for Abraham. God appeared and rebuked Abraham for not living before God and God’s promise. For 13 years there is no sign from God nor Abraham interacting with God. And that is reason for change of name of Abraham and Sarah:

Name-change signifies beginning of a new era and is all about redefining a person from what he was to what he would be. It is a reflection of a renewal that was to come in Abraham and emphasize his transition to be blameless. God wanted to rewrite a clean slate for Abraham from this point on and forget his past.

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Here's another possible interpretation. It is impossible for a man to be literally blameless-- I know I myself cannot go a few hours (milliseconds) without sinning.

Perhaps the setup goes like this, taking into consideration what we know about humans after the Fall:

"walk with me" -- Hang out with God, be one of God's buddies, have faith

"and be blameless" -- your faith grants you imputed righteousness

"Then I will confirm" -- God's work of imputed righteousness is the condition Abraham passively meets in order to earn a covenant.

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It was an instruction for our benefit, as well as his. Its the same as saying "Walk in faith", the primary attribute Abraham was known for.

A definition by which Abraham, the father of those having faith, was called blameless is here:

Romans 4:2-5

Above explains that Abraham was faultless (blameless) on account of his faith -- not his works. So his faults (sinful works) were not an annoyance to God -- Psalm 130:3 -- but simply "not remembered" and thus his good works were all that applied to him, and so he is called "blameless".

Faith = Removal of sin = Blameless.

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Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Yes being without faith, doubting and acting on that doubt by having Ishmael did not please God as Hebrews 11 tell us. We do not know if the displeasure of the Lord is why it took so long. I'm sure there were other reasons why the Lord was not pleased with Abraham during the time he was silent. It could be that even if Abraham had not had Ishmael and had walking in faith the whole 13 years it would have still taken 13 years for some other equally unknown reason.

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