Friday 7 June, 2019

Genesis 16:1-16

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

This is just a bad idea. What was Sarai thinking?! She suggested that her husband sleep with her maidservant, Hagar, in order to produce an heir, yet when this plan works and Hagar is pregnant, Sarai is upset. What did you think would happen Sarai?? This is so messy. You wanted an heir but at what cost?

What was Sarai motivated by? Was it out of guilt and shame because she was barren? Did she want to help her husband “save face” amongst society? Did she want to secure their livelihood/future by having children? Whatever the reason, Sarai seemed ruled by her fears.

So while this may obviously seem like a bad plan, I wonder how often am I motivated by my own feelings and self-preservation? What “reasonable” plans am I blinded to because I am motivated to take care of something to make sure it happens?

Lord, may I not make hasty decisions in order to make dreams and plans happen as I think they should. May I seek wise counsel and Your guidance. Lead me Lord, I pray.

Written by Gab Martin

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