Genesis 16:1-2 \”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.\”
\” It seemed good at the time\”. Ever heard that or said that? We all have great ideas, right? I mean God created us in His image and so he created us with the ability to be creative; to think outside the box when necessary. The problem is that sometimes our seeming good ideas are in fact really bad ideas that come with great consequences. Here we have Hagar who was given to Sarai, most likely during their stay in Egypt and most likely during her stay in the Pharoah\’s palace. Absolutely a beautiful young woman since most slaves given to serve queens aren\’t necessarily homely or repulsive to look at. She has served her mistress well. She has never given reason to distrust her, she accomplishes the tasks given her in a timely and proficient manner–she is the ideal slave any woman would want to have; she makes Sarai proud. Sarai gets the idea that in order to be pleasing to Abram she should give Hagar as a wife to him. Her hope is that she can now raise a family through her and be regarded highly in the nomadic community near the trees of Mamre as well as be esteemed by Abram. Prosperity is seen in children, not possession alone. Prosperity doesn\’t last if you do not have an heir to leave your possessions to and carry on your name amongst the leaders of the land. Abram was willing not because he needed another wife or more sexual relations, but because he had been promised by God that he would have an heir to pass down the blessings of God to. He agreed to the best possible human intervention to solve a problem that had made his faith wane!
How often do we do this? How often do we get an idea, that is within our ability to accomplish, in an effort to help God along with his plan? The answer: ALL THE TIME. God honors our creativity when it is within his purpose. But when God has instructed us to live out life in the normal day to day fashion and SEE Him accomplish what he has promised that gets tough. Oddly enough, this is a part of the human nature that we have been given through Adam\’s fall. Satan\’s tempting (tricking is more like it!!) of Eve in the garden to disconnect from God as the source and to connect to ourselves instead has been the foundation of many good ideas that have been built within the structure that we are \”like God, knowing the difference between good and evil\” (Genesis 2). We trust God but when we see a \”better\” way, we tend to move on it and ask God to bless it afterward. This is not, nor has it ever been, a good idea. We are not God!
How do we avoid Hagar? We TRUST God and the process! Proverbs 3:5 says \”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.\” Hagar can never find her way into the process of God\’s purpose if we are acknowledging Him in ALL THINGS with our obedience to Him. God desires obedience to Him above all else. Trying to find ways to be obedient that do not need Faith, a currency of Heaven, is not obedience–even if the idea is amazing and works. The outcome of trust, even if not in the timeframe we think God should move, is by far better and more productive then our way. Our way usually will end up with us tied to and often serving the consequence. Sarai thought that Hagar would remain her slave through the process when in reality she was elevated to an equal stance with her when Abram took Hagar to be a wife. Her mindset was also elevated as she began to despise Sarai. We too often become subservient to Hagar when we follow her as an option in our lives. What seemed like a good idea at the time can become a bondage to us in following days. In the end, Abram abandoned Hagar as his wife but still had to deal with the consequences of the actions. In all this, God remained faithful. He does this because He is Faithful even when we are not! However, do not equate God\’s faithfulness with God\’s acceptance of the action!! God blessed Hagar\’s son because He is good, but His covenant with Abram (now Abraham) was through Isaac. People may call this God\’s permissive will, but the truth is God is good and we sometimes are fortunate that God blesses our disobedience in employing Hagar to fulfill the promises He makes to us.
In the end, it is ALWAYS BETTER TO TRUST GOD then it is to marry Hagar! Hagar leads to Ishmael, TRUST leads to Isaac! In fact, it is better for all involved. when we do that. Let\’s not muddy God\’s purposes in asking him to bless Hagar, instead, wait for the promises of God and stay faithfully obedient to His plan. It ALWAYS comes fully insured to produce!