Genesis 16:1-18:19 / Matthew 6:1-24 / Psalm 7:1-17 / Proverbs 2:1-5
Standout verse: Genesis 16:2
“So Sarai said to Abram, ‘See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.”
This story is an example of the dangers of taking God’s promises to us into our own hands. Sarai knew the promise God had made to Abram (later Abraham) about how he would inherit the land of Canaan and that his descendants would live there. Based on what she knew (she and Abram’s present circumstances of being childless, and her age and apparent inability to conceive) she encouraged Abram to ‘make God’s promise happen’. She told him to “go to” her maid-servant Hagar, so that their family line could be started through her.This decision was a bad one in many respects: 1. It was a desperate attempt to ‘help God out’. 2. It was clearly a ‘second best’ option (God NEVER has second best in mind for us!) 3. It began a relationship that yielded bitterness, anger and jealousy between Sarai and Hagar and later between their children, Isaac and Ishmael. 4. It is a clear example of not fully trusting in God and His promises and not waiting on His perfect timing. 5. It is a story of compromising God’s ultimate promise of blessing for temporary security and immediate results.Sarai and Abram learned the hard way and took the path that was out of the way in order to come back around to a place of faith and peace. It took a lot of unnecessary energy and yielded a complicated and painful set of circumstances.
The great news is, our God is faithful and His desire is for restoration and fulfillment of vision and promise in the lives of His children when their hearts are yielded to Him. Let’s be confident in God’s promises, timing, and ability to complete the things He has shown us. As we do, our faith will be built and we will move into a deeper, more intimate relationship with God as we trust, obey and walk in peace.