JANUARY 19, 2021



“Soon after this, Abraham heard that Milcah, his brother Nahor’s wife, had borne Nahor eight sons” (Genesis 22:20 New Living Translation).

Sometimes someone can become sad even when something bad has not happened to him or anyone else. He could begin to wonder what is responsible for the sudden change in his mood. He could begin to search himself to find out what went wrong. He could even be thinking whether it’s a sign that something bad would happen.

If the person reflects well on the sequence of events before his negative mood, he would find out that possibly he received a piece of good news about someone. He could have heard about someone’s success or progress. Unconsciously, he began to compare himself with that person in his mind.

One key to unhappiness in life is comparison. People easily slip into comparison unaware. You are happy in life until you begin to compare yourself with another person because of the good reports you’ve heard about him or his progress you’ve seen. Unfortunately, hardly will such people acknowledge that they’re worried by the success of another or jealous of them. Why should you make yourself miserable because of another person’s progress?

Every Bible student knows the story of Abraham and how he and his wife were barren for many years despite the promise of God to make Abraham a great nation (Genesis 12:2). He had told Abraham he would become the father of many nations (Genesis 17:4-5). But Abraham never had any child other than Ishmael whom he had through Hagar, his wife’s maid, after many years of waiting for the promise of God prior to the promise of Genesis 17:4-5.

However, God assured them that they would still give birth to a child He had promised them.  He said he would bless Sarah and give Abraham a son by her. He promised that Sarah would be a mother of nations and kings of peoples shall be from her (Genesis 17:16).

Abraham laughed at the promise of God because, at this time, he was 99 years old and Sarah 90 years old (Genesis 17:1, 17). Nevertheless, God said, “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year” (Genesis 17:19-21 New King James Version).

At last, in Genesis 21, Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old (verse 5). Obviously, Sarah was 91 years old then. They had their first child together after a period of not less than 25 years if we calculate from when Abraham was 75 years old in Genesis 12 where God’s promise of making him a great nation is first mentioned.

Years later, God tested Abraham and told him to go offer Isaac as a burnt offering to Him and he passed the test. God stopped him at the point of killing Isaac.  Because of Abraham’s loyalty and obedience to God, He blessed him again (Genesis 22:1-19).

Interestingly, after this and when Abraham had just one child, Isaac, and another by her wife’s maid, making two, the Bible says in Genesis 22:20, “Soon after this, Abraham heard that Milcah, his brother Nahor’s wife, had borne Nahor eight sons” (New Living Translation). Please take note of this scripture. In other words, Abraham heard of the success of Nahor’s family at childbearing.

Compare that to Abraham’s situation over the years. If we go by the sequence of presentation of these accounts, Abraham still had only two children at this time. Yet, his brother already had twelve children. The names of Nahor’s eight sons and the additional four from his concubines are listed out in verses 21-22.

If you were Abraham, how would you feel hearing this news as Abraham did? Would your mood change? Would you feel sad or rejoice at the news? Or would you be sulking and become sorry for yourself? Would you feel that the Lord has failed you? Would that negatively affect your relationship with your brother and his family?

It is possible that Abraham was older than Nahor and got married before him because Abraham is mentioned first before Nahor among Terah’s three children (Genesis 11:26). Whereas verse 29 tells us that Abraham and Nahor got married, sadly, verse 30 tells us that Sarai, Abraham’s wife, was unable to get pregnant. That suggests that Nahor’s wife didn’t have that problem.

All the years that Abraham was trusting God for a child, Nahor didn’t have this problem. As we have seen, at the time Abraham had two children, his brother already had twelve. Abraham and Sarah could have become jealous and developed a negative attitude because of this. But there is no record they did.

Don’t become jealous because you have heard a good report about someone or you have received good news about anyone’s success. It doesn’t change the story or the report. It will only change you and make you miserable. That is the reason for some people’s sickness! He says he doesn’t know what is wrong with him. He is having headaches and stomach pain. No drug will work except the person repents of jealousy.

Somebody’s success today does not cancel yours tomorrow. Learn to celebrate others. Rejoice at the success of other people; don’t go into emergency fasting and prayer out of envy. Feast with them now; don’t fast! There is a time for feasting and a time for fasting. God made them both!

Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (New King James Version). Some would rather weep (hypocritically) with those who weep but not rejoice with such people when they rejoice. They always wish that others weep and not rejoice. If that describes you, don’t ask me if you’re a witch or wizard!  Beware and repent! Cain killed his brother, Abel, because of jealousy (Genesis 4). The chief priests handed Jesus over to be tried and crucified because of envy (Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10).

John the Baptist said, “A bridegroom’s friend rejoices with him. I am the bridegroom’s friend, and I am filled with joy at his success” (John 3:29 New Living Translation). John the Baptist neither engaged in any rivalry with Jesus nor was jealous of Him. Be filled with joy about other people’s success. Your own turn will soon come.

Let’s go back to the story of Abraham. Abraham who had only two sons and his brother had twelve eventually had six other sons by his second wife, Keturah, after the death of Sarah (Genesis 25:1-2). Later, Isaac married Rebekah, the granddaughter of Nahor, Abraham’s brother. Genesis 25:5-6 says, “And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of the concubines which Abraham had; and while he was still living he sent them eastward, away from Isaac his son, to the country of the east” (New King James Version).

Don’t let anybody’s testimony in church or anywhere else make you sad. Don’t become a witch or wizard! If that’s your attitude, you must repent. It isn’t that some people are a failure in life or that they’re poor or suffering but they cannot stand the news of something good happening to another person. They always feel that they are the only ones that must enjoy the good things of life, receive a promotion, their children do well, etc.

That’s not only selfishness but also wickedness. Such people must repent before this attitude destroys them. “A relaxed attitude lengthens life; jealousy rots it away” (Proverbs 14:30 New Living Translation).  Jealousy will rot your bones.

James 3:14-16 says, “But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your hearts, don’t brag about being wise. That is the worst kind of lie. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and motivated by the Devil. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every kind of evil” (New Living Translation).

Don’t let the news of anyone’s success or progress make you miserable. There could be people you started before who are now appear to be ahead of you. Don’t be worried because of that. We are all running different races in life. Even if you’re in the same line of business, calling or career, run in your own lane.

That someone is ahead of you today does not mean you have failed or you’ll always be behind him. “The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise are often poor, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives…” (Ecclesiastes 9:11 New Living Translation).

God has different plans for everybody. The graphs of our lives cannot be the same. Don’t see life as a competition with others. Ecclesiastes 4:4 says, “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind” (New Living Translation). Avoid this. You can’t enjoy your life if you’re jealous of others and competing with them.

PRAYER POINTS:  I repent of jealousy or envy; Father, forgive me. Holy Spirit, help me not to engage in competition with anyone but run my own race and run in my lane. I shall not let the news of anyone’s success make you miserable.


If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS:  I repent of jealousy or envy; Father, forgive me. Holy Spirit, help me not to engage in competition with anyone but run my own race and run in my lane. I shall not let the news of anyone’s success make you miserable.

(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit:

T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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