God Is Weaving His Plan-From Genesis 16
Sarai offered Abram a worldly solution to her own barrenness in offering Hagar to him to bear a child in her stead. Sarai taking matters into her own hand revealed her sin of impatience, the manifestation of her unbelief. She had lost sight of God's assurance to Abram that the promised heir was to come through her as Abram's wife, and she was all too aware that she was past the time of childbearing. She was trying to help God out. Abram went along with her.
Regardless, Sarai's plan was fraught with problems. Man had his purpose, which brought unanticipated pain and difficult consequences. When faith gives way to impatience, it brings about turmoil, trouble. Yet, God was bringing about His purposes, even through this sin. Hagar's son Ishmael would have 12 sons, too, and major tensions between their descendants and those of the Patriarchs have marked their history. As we are learning in our world in these days, God has a heart for Muslims; they, too, can be recipients of His blessing and be drawn by His Spirit to believe in and follow Christ, becoming our brothers and sisters.
Let's consider what God was doing in Hagar through the pain and anguish of her life. From an earthly perspective, she had been transferred from Pharaoh's kingdom, likely from his household in his palace, to live in a tent as a semi-nomad with Abram's household. First, she was Sarai's maid, then Abram's mistress, then mistreated by Sarai. Her plight was dismissed by Abram. But over the time since she had come to live with Abram's household, she had been learning about Yahweh, about the true and living God. When Hagar fled from Sarai's harsh treatment, the angel of the Lord met her in the wilderness, spoke directly to her, calling her by name. He dialogued with her as Gabriel would later do with Mary when he announced to her that she would be the mother of our Lord.
Hagar's response? “You are a God of seeing. Truly here I have seen Him who looks after me.” She recognized God's grace and kindness to her. She trusted that the One who knew her best loved her most. Therefore, she was strengthened to do as the angel of the Lord had commanded her, submitting to Sarai's authority. Hagar was clearly a woman of faith! She named the well there, Beer lehai roi, the well of the Living One who sees me.
The Living God sees us, hears us, too. He is attentive, He provides for us. He is watching over our every step. He is with us all the way. Let's trust His heart!
A few concluding thoughts ………..
It is faith-strengthening to see the scarlet thread of God's redemptive purpose woven through the Bible, beginning with Genesis 3:15, where He assures us that the serpent will be defeated by a future descendant of the woman, Eve. We see another ray of light in Genesis 15 where we see that God was committing to fully satisfy by Himself the terms of the covenant He made with Abram, and there will be more as we continue through Genesis, and through book after book, culminating in the last verses of Scripture in Revelation, when Jesus says, “Surely, I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
As Tim Keller stated: The history of the Patriarchs is filled with such missteps and moral failures. How could these be our moral examples?
The answer, biblical faith, unlike other kinds, is not primarily about emulating moral examples.
The Bible is a history of God offering His grace to people who do not deserve it, nor seek it, constantly resist it, and never fully appreciate it after they have been saved by it.