Genesis 16:2,4-9,13-15 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai... He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the LORD judge between you and me.” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence. Now the angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” Then the angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority”... Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?” Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
We continue with Abram, who was found righteous in the sight of God, and note a new trial in his life. Sarai was barren and frustrated about not being able to provide Abram a child even though God had promised Abram that he would be the father of the nations.
Sounds like a problem we often encounter when we are waiting on the Lord for an answer to prayer and our reaction when there seems to be no answer.
Abram is obedient to his wife rather than his God but in washing his hands off from taking responsibility for his actions, he confuses us and Sarai's actions make us all the more concerned as to God's justice for the underprivileged.
Do we serve a just God and is his response fair?
There are many similarities and many differences between the Christian faith and that of Muslims. We both draw from the same ancestry and the offspring of Abram creates the great divide because the Muslims draw their lineage from Ishmael whereas Christians draw it from Isaac, Sarai's firstborn.
To make things clear, we have to recognize first that Sarai and Abram acted in their own selfish desire to show that they genuinely heard God's calling on their lives and Abram became the father of the nations. However, God was not a part of the decision.
Hagar's response to Sarai after conceiving Abram's child is not unfamiliar because she felt she had the right to Abram as she was united with him in flesh and carried his seed.
Sarai's response to Hagar was harsh but she was not to blame because she had used a surrogate mother to conceive a child and Hagar's response to her after the conception was not as she expected.
God's response to Hagar when she was by the well was comforting because He showed that He was concerned about her well-being and would provide her the justice she deserved, one that Abram and the generations that followed after him would never be able to forget.
The lesson we learnt today was that when we submit our requests to God in prayer, we need to wait for His response, which is always the right one for us, and live in obedience to Him or we will face the consequence of our actions.
Also, we meet El-roi, the God of my vision, for the first time here. El-roi is the name Hagar calls God with because He saw her humiliation and answered so powerfully. God sees us, understands our situations and responds but for that to happen, we need to be able to come before Him with our situations and humiliation and we can be assured of God's fair response.
Psalm 139:1-12 O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
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