[Today:] Genesis 16 – Do you have an Ishmael Situation in Your Life? When the pressure is on and you are desperate for a breakthrough it is common to come up with our own ideas. Abram and Sarai were aging into later years but hoping for a son, so much so they ignored God’s plan and hatch one of their own to their own hurt.
[Gen 16:1-16 KJV] 1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name [was] Hagar. 2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. 4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. 5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong [be] upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. 6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid [is] in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. 7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. 9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. 10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou [art] with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he will be a wild man; his hand [will be] against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. 13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? 14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, [it is] between Kadesh and Bered. 15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16 And Abram [was] fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
In the beginning of our chapter we find Abram and Sarai grappling with the contradication between their situation and God’s promise. They were past child bearing years but God had promised them a son. So they look around them and consider a socially acceptable alternative but one that was absolutely not God’s will. Now the verse makes the point to tell us that Hagar was an Egyptian. Remember previously that Abram and Sarai lied about being husband and wife and Sarai was taken into Pharaoh’s harem? That was when Hagar became Sarai’s property. Abram’s lack of wisdom is now returning on his own head. Sarai listened to Abram when he was afraid in Egypt and now Abram is listening to Sarai when she is afraid in the wilderness. Learn when to listen and when not to listen to those in your life when they are struggling and need you to be strong.
What do Jewish commentators have to say about Hagar? Rabbinical commentators asserted that Hagar was Pharaoh’s daughter. The midrash Genesis Rabbah states it was when Sarah was in Pharaoh’s harem that he gave her his daughter Hagar as slave, saying: “It is better that my daughter should be a slave in the house of such a woman than mistress in another house”.
Before Pharaoh uncovered the lie between them he gave Abram and Sarai both servants and gold and riches while he was courting Sarai. When their lie was exposed Pharaoh sent them away but allowed them to keep all the gifts including Hagar. So Hagar is in Abram’s household because of a lie that was told and a decision that was made out of fear. Hagar’s name means “taken to flight” Hagar represents the strategies we resort to when we are reacting to the situation. What prompted this ill-advised action that has for generations brought such strife and bloodshed upon all mankind? Remember that Hagar is the matriarch of the Arabic race. There would be no Osama Bin Laden, not oil rich Sheiks, no terrorism in its current form if Abram and Sarai has been listening to God rather than reacting to their situation.
The idea they came up with regarding Hagar arose because they were looking at their circumstance rather than looking at and trusting the promise of God. They were bound by their opinions. Their opinion was that they were too old and they needed a work around. What opinions are you allowing to tempt you to find a work around to let God off the hook? How do you think that will work out for you? Any better than Abram and Sarai? If we sow to the wind we reap the whirlwind but if we continue to walk in the law of love and the law of faith then we rise above the law of sowing and reaping and can call for a failed harvest of the unwise choices of the past.
Matthew 7:1 tells us “Judge not that you be not judged…” That word judge there means to “have an opinion or to hand down an opinion.” Your unenlightened opinions will torpedo the blessing of God in your life every time. You must choose to have no opinion of things both great and small. We must hear what the promise of the Father is and adhere to that regardless how illogical or unlikely it may be. You cannot make the promise come to pass but you can cause it to be delayed by unbelief and wrong choices. What is the answer then?
[Phl 2:5 KJV] 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
When Jesus was faced with the impossible and it looked like all was lost his response was:
[Luk 22:42 KJV] 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
You have to subjugate your will to the will of the Father that is revealed through your intuition which is a faculty of your spirit man where God lives. You must bring the voice of God through the instrumentality of your intuition online in your decision making process with veto authority over your rational mind and even your common sense. You must know when common sense must yield to audacious faith.
In v. 4-5 we see this bad idea was carried out and Hagar becomes Abram’s second wife. His third wife was Keturah. We’ve covered this previously but Sarai gave birth to the STAR – SEED; Hagar to the SAND SEED; and Keturah to the DUST SEED. You have all three of these classes of people in your life at any time. The SAND SEED speaks of the people in your life bound by a religious spirit and building on the sands of legalism and harshness and bigotry.
[Mat 7:26-27 KJV] 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
The dust seed are the people in your life that are takers and not givers. They are serpent’s food and Satan takes them at his pleasure for his purpose.
[2Ti 2:26 KJV] 26 And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
The star seed are those that are in your life that are walking toward their destiny, believing for the plan of God to be brought about who have positioned themselves in the constellation of God’s purpose as the related to you and the time and season they find themselves in. Jesus is the Daystar and we are the sons of God Job spoke of that sang the star song of redemption:
[Job 38:7 KJV] 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
In v. 6-16 problems increase and Sarai insists that Hagar and her son have to go. Hagar should have never been in Abram’s household. Ishmael should have never been born. Why was God so gracious to her? Because he was in covenant with Abram. He said he would bless him. If Abram did right he was blessed but if he did wrong he was blessed as well. The promise of Duet. 28 stipulates this clearly:
[Deu 28:12 KJV] 12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
So we must commit ourselves to great discretion and refused to have Hagars in our life – the fruit of reacting to the situations at hand and resorting to ungodly strategies that will only produce sorrow and frustration for us and all that come after us. We must learn to wait upon the Lord, trust his promises and leave the details and the process to Him, trusting him for the outcome.
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