This chapter continues the story of Abram and his wife Sarai but introduces a new character to their story, Hagar. (Sarai’s Egyptian servant)
The story of Abram is an example to us how to grow in our own faith. In Romans 4:16 Abraham is called the father of all who believe. He makes mistakes but he does continue to grow spiritually.
Sarai’s first recorded words are “the Lord has kept me from having children.” - she speaks her circumstances instead of speaking God’s promises.
Sarai told Abram to take Hagar as his wife and have a child with her. Abram listened to his wife. (Now this is not God’s way of doing things and we are still dealing today with the consequences of that decision).
Hagar had a child and looked down on Sarai and this caused conflict between the two women.
Vs 5 Sarai is mad at Abram and blames him for the conflict between her and Hagar.
Vs 6 Abrams gave Sarai permission to do what she wanted to Hagar and she dealt harshly with her so Hagar runs away.
An Angel found Hagar and asked her where she was going. She told him she was getting away from Sarai.
The Angel told her to return to Sarai her mistress and submit to her because she was pregnant with a son and the Lord was going to make his descendants into a large nation.
Vs 12 She was instructed to name her son Ishmael. The Angel foretold that Ishmael would be a wild man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s against him. In other words, he will live in hostility towards all his brothers. (This is a prophecy given 4,000 years ago that the Jewish people and the Arabs will be in hostility towards each other and that has been going on for 4,000 years).
Hagar called the Lord “the God of seeing” because He looked after her in her time of trouble.
The spring of water where the Angel and Hagar met became known as Beer-lahai-roi.
Hagar the Egyptian believed God’s promise and returns in faith. She comes back obedient to God.
Abram was 86 years old when Ishmael was born.
God has given us these details about Abrams life for us. In some of these stories of Abram he gets it right and in some like this story, he doesn’t. The greatest lesson here is NOT to speak our circumstances but instead speak God’s promises. Speaking circumstances never activates the promises of God.
We can’t rush God by taking matters into our own hands. God had promised to make Abram’s descendants into a great nation in Chapter 12. As they got older the chances of that seemed impossible. Sarai decided to solve things her own way but that ended up causing more problems in their home. This story teaches us that it is better to trust God patiently.