Friday, September 23, 2016

Sarai and Hagar

Then Sarai said to Abram, “My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The Lord judge between you and me.”
So Abram said to Sarai, “Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please.” And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.
Genesis 16:5-6, NKJV

Sarai and Hagar

We continue our sad story of Sarai and Hagar. You will remember that God had promised to Abram that his descendants would be as the stars in the sky and as the sands in the seas. However, Sarai and Abram had no children.

Sarai, taking matters into her own hands, designed a way to accomplish God's promises to them. If Abram would sleep with her handmaid, Hagar, and bear children with her, then Sarai could claim them as her children.

As so often is the case, when we try to accomplish God's purposes in our own way and refuse to wait for God, we can really make a mess of things. That is exactly what happened in the case of Sarai and Hagar. Abram, at the encouragement of Sarai, slept with Hagar and Hagar conceived. 

Now, the trouble began. Hagar, who was just a handmaid, suddenly saw herself as better than Sarai. She was able to do what Sarai could not do--she was able to conceive. So, she despised Sarai. How did Sarai respond?

Then Sarai said to Abram, “My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The Lord judge between you and me."

She took the case up with Abram and said, "Now look what you have done. May God judge between you and me." In other words, she was blaming Abram for the misery that resulted from Hagar's actions towards her. 

Abram, who so foolishly followed Sarai's unwise advice simply ignored the situation and turned it back over to Sarai saying, “Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please.” We are then told that Sarai dealt harshly with Hagar.

The one who suffered the most in all of this was Hagar. She was just a handmaid to Sarai--a servant! None of these choices were hers. When Sarai turned her over to Abram, Hagar had no choice but to obey. However, when she conceived a child of Abram's, she suddenly saw herself in a totally new position. She was now Abram's concubine.

What are we to do if we find ourselves in a similar position as did Hagar? We may not be a servant, but we are often in situations that, totally out of our control, end in misery for us. How are we to understand God's dealings when the events of our life seem to be so unfair.

As we shall see when we continue in this passage from Genesis 16, nothing we do circumvents the plans of God. What God has predetermined to happen, will happen. We will find God dealing with both Hagar and with Abram and Sarai, in ways that accomplish His will.

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to trust God in all of the events of this life. Not all of these events may be pleasant. As a matter of fact, some of the events of this life may actually be quite difficult. God, however, promises to be with us. He guides and directs us all of the days of our lives, even if we are called to go through the valley of the shadow of death.

There is no place on this earth that is beyond the help of God. Let us, then, rejoice in this great God we serve even if we are traveling through some very deep waters. We serve an amazing and wonderful God who guides and directs us every single day of our lives on this earth. And, at the end of our lives, He will bring us safely into His heavenly arms where we will live forever!

God Bless You,
Linda

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