5114. To some people, that number is an arbitrary figure without significance. To others, it holds a specific meaning; it is the donor code for their father. In the documentary entitled Future People: The Family of Donor 5114, we learn of a man in his late 20s who visits a sperm bank to earn money to pay for college courses. During his interview, 5114 divulges that he was athletic, with light olive skin, full lips, bushy eyebrows, and brown hair. He also states that he liked the idea of helping those who couldn’t conceive children on their own. Meanwhile, a group of women from diverse socioeconomic and sexual backgrounds chooses 5114 to father their child.
One of the young women created from 5114 started researching her father using social media and ancestry.com. She found her first half-sibling online. Soon she locates 10, 15, 21, then 37 relatives—all with the same eyebrows, nose, and full lips.
The kids found satisfaction in linking with their half-siblings. They were also grateful to bond with others who struggled with the emptiness of not knowing their father.
According to the cryogenic bank in California, when the kids turn 18, they could petition to communicate with 5114. To the children’s surprise, the donor turns out to be a kind man and agrees to correspond with them. At the end of the documentary, the director interviews 5114. The man then divulges that although he was glad to know his offspring, he and his wife were still working through the situation.
That statement stuck with me. At 27, the donor failed to ponder the future repercussions of his actions. Nor did he consider how it could affect the lives of his present family, let alone the children who struggle to make themselves whole. He thought only of his present circumstance.
The film reminded me of Genesis 16. After waiting ten years for God to fulfill his promise for an heir, Abraham uses his wife’s servant, Hagar, to conceive the promised child. Soon Hagar gives birth to a young boy. However, the baby is not the pledged descendant of the covenant between Abraham and God.
Instead, the child, Ishmael, becomes the father of 12 princes. Not bad, at first thought. However, Ishmael’s descendants are a constant thorn in Israel’s side. Today, the war between the half-siblings continues to shed blood and hatred throughout the entire region.
In his sermon, “A Perfect Picture of Saving Faith, Part 1,” Pastor John MacArthur says, “Those who don’t want to wait on God will do it their way; so, the flesh rejects the promise and tries to take by its own power what God gives. Ishmael pictures all those who try to please God and accomplish God’s will by the flesh. It’s sinful, useless, and creates bondage.”
Therefore, this is a rebuke to believers who act on their desires. Autonomy says, “God, let me show you how to do this. Waiting is a sign that you are too busy and have forgotten about me. Or perhaps you lack the wisdom to resolve this situation.”
Romans 4:1-3 says, “What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.’”
To be clear, Abraham did not earn his righteous standing by acting on God’s behalf. He earned the blessing by holding onto God’s word and waiting for Him to provide.
In Ecclesiastes 11:5, it says, “Just as you do not know the path of the wind, and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes everything.”
How many times do you think of the repercussions of your decisions? Are you tired of waiting for God? Or are you flirting with temptation? First Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape so that you will be able to endure it.”