Saturday, June 16, 2012

Abraham, Sarah and Hagar: A lesson not learned

I started reading a year long blended read through the Bible off of You Version. Today's reading is Genesis 16-18. I really want to post my thoughts on Genesis 16. It is the story of Abraham, Sarai and Hagar. As I was reading this, it struck me, verse 2 of chapter 16 says this," Sarai said to Abram, "Since the Lord has prevented me from bearing children, go to my slave; perhaps I can have children by her." And Abram agreed to what Sarai said."

Ok I have to admit, when I see Sarah in Heaven I am going to say to her, "what in the world were you thinking?" Abraham was a man of honor. You don't read of him having a concubine or any other wives. So why would Sarah give another woman to him? He was so in love with her, they had been married a lifetime and yet he (as far as we know) didn't have another lover until Sarah gave him Hagar. 

Hagar was an Egyptian. So one she introduced a foreigner into their bloodline. It isn't like Egypt and Israel are the best of friends. So when Hagar became pregnant, she started treating Sarah with contempt. Sarah gets mad at Abraham and blames him. (yet we all know it is Sarah's fault for suggesting it and Abraham's for going doing it) It is the apple and the garden all over again. No one taking responsibility for their actions.

Hagar runs away and the Angel of the Lord finds her. He asks her what she is doing and she tells him she is running away because of the way Sarah is treating her. The Lord tells her to go back, but what is the kicker of this is what the Lord tells her.

 The Angel of the Lord also said to her, "I will greatly multiply your offspring, and they will be too many to count."
11 Then the Angel of the Lord said to her:

You have conceived and will have a son. 
You will name him Ishmael, 
for the Lord has heard your [cry of] affliction. 
12 This man will be [like] a wild donkey. 
His hand will be against everyone, 
and everyone's hand will be against him; 
he will live at odds with all his brothers. 
The Muslims and the Jews are at odds because one man and one woman could not wait on the timing of God. Yet God loved Abraham and blessed him. Abraham is the father of all. We must not just look at the short term, but when we try to step outside of God's will and timing do we also look at the long term. Of course, not. We are an instant society and want what we want now. Looks like Sarah was the same way. What is disturbing though, is that Abraham heard the promise from the Lord and yet he still did what Sarah asked. So ladies, this is a prime example of how much influence we have over our men. Do you use it wisely or do you want what you want when you want it. 
Just some food for thought on this gorgeous Saturday morning!