Do not compromise but trust God’s promise

Posted by admin on 26 August 2013 in Genesis |

Genesis 16

    1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

In ancient time, it was common to bear a child through a maid if the host couldn’t bear a child. Even though it was a common practice in the society, it did not mean that it would be right before God. It was wrong for Sarai to advise Abram to sleep with her slave. It was neither moral nor biblical.

Therefore, let us not blindly follow others, culture, custom, or worldly practice.

Sarai said in v2,

“The LORD has kept me from having children.”

So, she knew it was God who kept her from having children. But she tried to solve the problem in her own way. She didn’t ask God what God’s will & time were.

   Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

Abram agreed to Sarai’s ungodly advice (2b) and made tragic mistake, without knowing the consequences.

Consequences are listed below.

  • Conflict in the family
    • Hagar despised Sarai (4b).
    • Sarai mistreated Hagar (6b).
    • Hagar and Ishmael were sent away (Genesis 21:14).
  • Ishmael became the father of all the Arabic countries, which are hostile to Israel till these days.

Abram should have remembered what God already promised in Genesis 15. Then, Abram could have avoided making a bad situation worse.

Before you follow any advice from others including your own spouse

  • Do you remember what is written in the Holy Bible?
  • Do you pray for God’s wisdom and guidance?

   When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me.”

Hagar was pregnant and began to despise Sarai. Sarai started to see the bad consequence of her own decision.

   6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.

Abram could solve the conflict by asking Hagar not to despise but to be submissive to Sarai. But as Abram irresponsibly accepted Sarai’s advice, he irresponsibly let Sarai solve the trouble. Sarai mistreated Hagar. So, she fled from her.

   7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

   “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

   9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

   11 The angel of the LORD also said to her:

   “You are now pregnant 
   and you will give birth to a son. 
You shall name him Ishmael, 
   for the LORD has heard of your misery. 
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man; 
   his hand will be against everyone 
   and everyone’s hand against him, 
and he will live in hostility 
   toward all his brothers.”

The angel of the LORD found Hagar and let her return & submit to Sarai (9). And the angel of the LORD promised numerous descendants (10) and told about her son’s future (12).

Ishmael became the father of all the Arabic people. And the description of her son’s future (12) matches to that of the Arabic people now-a-days.

Genesis 17:20 shows Abram prayed for Ishmael.

   13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

Hagar experienced “the God who sees her”. She didn’t know God was watching her & her misery until she encountered the angel of the LORD. When she realized God who knew her from the very beginning, it was the moment that she recognized the love of God. God loved her at all time, but she was blind and unable to see God’s love. Now she opened her spiritual eyes and confessed her faith; “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

   15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

Abram was 75-years old when he was called by God (Genesis 12:4). Abram got Ishmael at 86 (15) and Isaac at 100 (Genesis 21), which was 25 years after the calling of God.

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