Year 2 Day 225
Read - Genesis 16
Message - Scott Woodburn
How long should you wait to get what you want? A few weeks? Months? Years? Sometimes we get sick of waiting and decide to take matters into our own hands. Abram had received God’s promise by faith but now was going to bring about the promise by the flesh.
Abram and his wife Sarai were childless and so came up with the plan for Abram to sleep with his wife’s servant Hagar. If all went according to the earthly plan Hagar would produce an heir and so the promise of God would be fulfilled. Unsurprisingly none of this was with the Lord’s blessing.
Hagar did indeed fall pregnant but she was immediately filled with sinful pride and arrogance towards Sarai. Sarai for her part is filled with bitterness and cries to Abram “May the wrong done to me be on you!” (v5) It seems that Sarai has forgotten that the whole episode was her idea! Abram’s response doesn’t cover him in glory. “Do to her as you please” he urged his wife (v6). Or in other words Abram’s attitude is “nothing to do with me!”
The whole story is a sinful mess that came about due to the unwillingness to wait upon the sovereignty of Almighty God. Sadly it gets worse. Hagar is forced to flee from Sarai’s harsh treatment and so this young pregnant girl finds herself alone in the wilderness (v7). Sin upon sin upon sin and the outcome is bitterness, division and isolation. Utterly tragic.
However if Abram washed his hands of the matter, the Lord didn’t. In verse seven we meet an angel for the first time in the Scriptures, only this angel is THE angel of the Lord (v7). Whenever we meet such a statement we believe that we see a pre-incarnation appearance of Christ. Jesus is eternal and before he came in the flesh He was very much active and appeared throughout the Old Testament.
It was the Lord therefore who came and sought out the outcast telling Hagar that she was indeed pregnant with a son. His name would be Ishmael meaning “God hears” for the Lord had heard the cries of Hagar’s heart. From Ishmael would come a multitude of people who would know trouble and strife.
Hagar understands that not only does God hear but God sees. The name of the well where the Lord met with Hagar was to be called “Beer-lahai-roi” (v14) meaning “the well of the living God who sees” and so Hagar returns to Abram with the news of her meeting with the Lord. The message to her master would be clear - God hears and sees and will surely keep His promise.
Brothers and sisters waiting is hard but rushing into to sin is even worse. At times it may seem that the Lord has no regard for us and that we currently walk through the wilderness. But today we remember that the Lord came to seek and to save the lost. We were once dead in sin and had no regard for the Lord and then on a bright shining day, he sought us out and opened our eyes. He has not changed. He is still for you. He remains the God who hears and sees…just you wait and see.
Q102 What do we pray for in the second petition? In the second petition, which is, Thy kingdom come,” we pray, that Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed; and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it; and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.