January 3

Using Others To Get What God Has Promised

When we read the story of Abraham, and Sarah, and Hagar we usually only look at it from the side of Abraham and secondarily Sarah. But the story really opens up when we look at it from the perspective of the female slave Hagar. Hagar’s body was used by Abraham and Sarah for the sole purpose of producing a son. The outcome, according to the scriptures, was that Hagar mocked Sarah (Gen 21:9).

When we normally look at this scripture, we emphasize that the problem of disbelief can cause many problems for humanity. And that is true. This story demonstrates that a wrong decision can cause much strife for many years. Sometimes we do even worse and put down Hagar for “mocking Sarah.”

However, we cannot be so quick to put down Hagar and glorify Sarah as the “innocent” party. Both found themselves in a situation where society and the promise of God suggested that having this son would be of the greatest importance. No doubt Hagar had heard the story of the promise from Abraham and Sarah. And here is a slave seeing the possibility of a better life for one of her offspring. Slaves don’t want to be slaves and they don’t want their children to be slaves. She may have thought to herself, “Maybe my son can be the one of promise.”

In addition, another thing our story reminds us of is that the lack of faith in God’s promise can result in humanity taking advantage of others. Here, as noted above, Sarah and Abraham thought they would take advantage of Hagar’s slave status to force her to produce the child that they wanted so desperately. Thus the lack of faith in God’s promise caused them to bring others into the scheme that can only end up in pain and heartache for Sarah and Hagar and ultimately Abraham.

The story reminds us…that lack of faith in God…and lack of walking in the way of duty can end up with us hurting many people. Even if our reason for going down the path is to “fulfill the promise of God.” But more than that, it demonstrates the fact that we followers of the Most High often use others to try to get what God has promised.


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