“I Did It My Way”
Lord, with all that’s going on in my life, please help me keep my mind focused on Jesus.
Read Genesis 16:1-16
 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar;  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.  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.  He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.  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.”  “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.  The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.  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.  Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”  The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”  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.  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.”  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.”  That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.  So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne.  Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat foolishness took place here, and with what consequences?
Just when we thought Abram had turned a real corner and was trusting God, Sarai, his wife, had other ideas with which he happily goes along. It can be hard to stay trusting God when those close to us are not inclined to do so, but it is all looking so hopeless from a human point of view. It’s no wonder that they take things into their own hands and try to re-engineer God’s promise. What a mess it causes! Every relationship is under strain and stress. Hagar despises her mistress; Sarai becomes bitter; the two women hate one another; Sarai blames Abram; and Hagar runs away. Talk about a dysfunctional family! You can feel the tension, pain and anger. God is so gracious to each of them. In this chapter we see him deal gently but firmly with Hagar. He reaches out to her in her fear and tells her to go back into the situation she’s run away from–not an easy command to follow. However, the command is accompanied with a promise of many descendants. Hagar is the underdog caught up in someone else’s game; still, God sees her, meets her and gives her a future.
Do you need the reassurance of knowing you are seen by the living God today? If so, reread this story again.
God, I’m grateful that You see and know me, and that nothing can ever separate me from Your love (Rom. 8:39).