The Book of Genesis

week 26

Chapter 16:3-9


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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise



Gen 16:3-6 3 Then Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. 4 So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, "My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The LORD judge between you and me." 6 So Abram said to Sarai, "Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please." And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.

Talk about a dysfunctional family. It sounds like we have one here.
But more then that, as we saw last week, Sarai was trying to help out God by giving her handmaid to Abram to fulfill Gods promise to Abram.
This doesn't make her a bad person in a sense, but it does make her disobedient to God and making Him out to be something less then what He really is. And that's GOD!

So here we have ten years after Abram left Egypt and came to Canaan.

Gen 13:1-4 1 Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South. 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

And here is when God gave Abram the promise the first time (remember the second time was in chapter 15).

Gen 13:14-18 14 And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are--northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 "for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 16 "And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. 17 "Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you." 18 Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD.

So basically they waited ten years for God's promise, but when they had no answer they took it in their own hands.
We think, "God didn't answer me so what ever I do is His fault because He didn't tell me otherwise."
But this is not what God says is OK.

Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

God cannot lie, meaning He did not lie when He was speaking to Abram.
So how long have you been waiting for a promise from God. A year, two, How about ten?
But still after ten years God's promise still did not come to pass. So how long was it when it did, or has it yet?

Well at this point Abram was around 85 - 87 years old.

Gen 12:4 So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

This is when Abram left and went to Canaan then to Egypt. He was probably there for a year. Then as we saw he left and returned to Canaan. So ten years later would make Abram around 85 - 87 years old.

Gen 21:5 Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

So we are talking about 25 years that Abram waited for the promise of God to come to pass.
Have you waited that long? Have you been trying to help God out with His promise?

4a So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived.

Again as we saw last week, Sarai was not the only one to sin, but Abram did also. Because he didn't have to obey his wife, only teach her what was right, which he didn't do. But then we as men are just as guilty as Abram was. So women, if Abram a man of God could mess up, don't you think we can to?

4b And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, "My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes.

I think this woman was mad, and Sarai's response to her husband was, "My wrong be upon you"

Or as it says in the NLT:

Gen 16:5 (NLT) Then Sarai said to Abram, "It's all your fault!

Poor Abram, he was just doing what he thought would make his wife happy. This is what happens when we don't listen to God. It not only affects you, but others around you. And you start blaming others for your own wrong.
We saw this in the beginning with Adam and Eve, where Adam blames Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. And the serpent lost his legs because he had no one to blame.

Then Sarai realizes that she had blamed the wrong person:

5b(NLT) though I myself gave her the privilege of sleeping with you.

But still she goes back to blaming Abram.

5c(NLT) The LORD will make you pay for doing this to me!"

When you sin, you alone are responsible for your own sin, and the only one to pay will be you.
But others pay also. As we see in this case that Abram was paying the price for his wife's sin and not only Abram but also Hagar would be paying too.

Gen 16:6 (NLT) Abram replied, "Since she is your servant, you may deal with her as you see fit." So Sarai treated her harshly, and Hagar ran away.

The word harshly also means "Afflicted" and in the Hebrew is "Anah" which means: to be afflicted, often expresses harsh and painful treatment. Like Sarai "dealt harshly" with Hagar.

So this was not just a little scolding but was probably physical abuse to Hagar. So much that it made her run away. Which could have meant death for a servant.

Gen 16:7-9 7 Now the Angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And He said, "Hagar, Sarai's maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai." 9 The Angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand."

Shur is a place southwest of Palestine on the eastern border or within the border of Egypt;
So Hagar was going back home to Egypt. But God did not want her to, because He had other plans for her son, which we will see in the chapters to come.

It's also interesting that Hagar's name means, "flight". and another meaning is; A stranger; one that fears.
And Hagar was both of these, scared and running.
We do the same thing when things get tough; basically we get scared and run. And as we saw with Hagar who was running back to her old way of life. And we do the same thing.
Running from God because things aren't going just right like we would like it to.
But you know you can't run from the Lord.

Psalms 139:7-10 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.

We have all read this verse before. But have you ever read verse10?

"Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.

No matter what you are doing or where you are running, God will be there with you. And not only with you, but His right hand shall hold you.
Isn't that comforting to know that no matter what you are going through, God is always there holding you?

This week what have you been running from? God wants you to know, through His word, that He is with you and don't fear.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

Wives: return to your husbands and submit to them as the angel told Hagar to return and submit.

Husbands: love your wife as Jesus loves the church (which is us as believers), and He gave His all for us, including His life.

No restriction for not doing it.
Just do it!

Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.



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