God had been promising an heir for Abram and Sarai, but as usual, God was on His timing, not theirs. To this point, Sarai had been unable to bear children, so she had this horrible idea to allow Abram to impregnate her Egyptian maid Hagar. Maybe Abram had faith in God, but his wife was tired of waiting and decided to take matters into her own hands. That was a mistake we are all still paying for today. It’s also another biblical example of the wife leading the husband astray, again with the husband easily going along with it putting up little fight. (Remember Adam and Eve?) No wonder God had the idea for wives to obey their husbands. Wives get into too much trouble on their own!
Abram agreed to this plan, though he should have known better too. After ten years of living in Canaan, Abram slept with Hagar and she conceived. This was Sarai’s plan, but it came back to bite her because now Hagar despised her. Sarai blamed Abram, and he told her to deal with Hagar whichever way she pleased. Sarai treated Hagar harshly causing her to flee. However, an angel of the Lord found Hagar and told her to go back and submit to Sarai’s authority. Moreover, the angel told her that he would greatly multiply her descendants, and that because the Lord had seen her affliction, she would bear a son whom would be named Ishmael. (Ishmael means “God hears”.) Hagar was astonished and called out to the name of the Lord. She did bear 86-year-old Abram a son, and Abram called him Ishmael.
Unfortunately, Ishmael would turn out to be a wild donkey of a man whose hand would be against everyone, and everyone’s hand would be against him. He would live to the east of all his brothers. This could be literal but also figurative as the descendants of Ishmael have remained in conflict with the descendants of Isaac (Abram and Sarai’s promised son who would come thirteen years after Ishmael). In fact, Ishmael is recognized as a prophet of Islam and an ancestor of many Arab tribes who are still in conflict with Christians and Jews to this day.
Just as we are still suffering the consequences of Eve’s sin who was kicked out of the Garden of Eden, we also still suffer the consequences of Sarai’s sin by living in conflict with the descendants of Ishmael. Our only saving grace is Jesus Christ who died on that cross for us, who paid for our sins, who took our punishment on Himself so that we wouldn’t have to face a horrifying eternity without God.
What’s the take-away here? Eve and Sarai decided to control their own lives instead of trusting God. How did that work out for them? How did that work out for us thousands of years later? Not so good, right? How many generations will have to pay for our own impatience with God? Let’s learn a lesson from their mistakes. As difficult as it is to wait, trust God’s timing. He sees the whole moving picture while we only see a still frame.
4 thoughts on “My Bible Blog: Genesis 16”
Why did Abram almost sacrifice his own son before the lamb came? Was that a dramatization in a movie I saw or a true depiction of the bible?
God tells Abram to sacrifice Isaac in order to test his faith. At the last second, God stops him and provides an animal for the offering. Abram has such faith in God that he’s willing to do whatever God asks of him to the point of breaking his own heart. Me? I’m not that strong, but God already knows that.
That weighed heavy on my mind. I’m not that strong, either.
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as always another awesome blog keep it going !!!!!