I know what you’re thinking – I said I’d be outside cutting the grass and chopping wood, well that’s coming. I just don’t want to use the sharp deadly objects when there is nobody around to hear me screaming about the toes/fingers/arms I’ve just lopped off my accident.
So, spending time productively – it’s this or play assassins creed, I picked blogging, simpley because I can sit on facebook at the same time.
When decided on the theme for this passage, which we’ll get to in a moment, I was thinking about Christmas, and birthdays. When I was younger I ALWAYS would try and find out what my presents where before hand. I was litterly incapable of waiting to find out on the day. Why was that? Apart from a want to play with things now rather than later, and a lack of patience due to youth… I think there was something more to it. I think that as a species, humans find it hard to wait. It is something we have to learn. That’s for sure.
So, the passage – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2016&version=NCV
Just after God promised Abram a son, Sarai, his wife, says “Look, the Lord has not allowed me to have children, so have sexual relations with my slave girl. If she has a child, maybe I can have my own family through her.”
That is basically saying, “Get it on with me slave, she can have a child, and I’ll steal the baby.” Fair play? No way.
That has to be one of the worst suggestions I’ve ever read (probably not, but in terms of ones that spring to mind, it’s at the top). A couple of things are going on here that are dodgey.
The first set is to do with human relations –
Abram, sleeping with his wife’s employee – should have thought about the implications on Sarai and Hagar’s relationship.
“I can have my own family through her.” Sarai is acting and thinking from a want to have a family – not a bad thing, but the way it presents here, is not good.
Genesis 16:4 & 5
4 Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When Hagar learned she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress Sarai badly.5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is your fault. I gave my slave girl to you, and when she became pregnant, she began to treat me badly. Let the Lord decide who is right—you or me.”
Couple of things going on here. Hagar gets pregnant (obvious I know). When she finds out, she “began to treat her mistress Sarai badly” that could have taken place in many forms, it could have been verbal abuse – psycological torment. It could have just been she got plain lazy – stopped working well, perhaps due to the pregnancy, perhaps because she felt as the mother to her boss’s heir she didn’t need to be a good slave anymore.
We aren’t told how it happens, but Sarai doesn’t roll over and let it happen. She acts out, and goes to Abram – communication is key in a healthy marriage after all.
In Verse 5 Sarai blames Abram – Which in my opinion is comepletely unjustified, who’s plan was it? Maybe I’m subconsiously biased, but I think that it’s Sarai at fault here. She didn’t trust God to provide through her. She felt that she had to take control of something that was God’s to control. This is what happens when we try to take control instead of trusting God, things get out of control. they go beyond us, beyond our plans, and past our expectations.
Then she brings God into it. Sweet sweet irony. “Let the Lord decide who is right—you or me.” A great attitude to have, but perhaps not when you’ve just tried to alter God’s plan to suit you, because you didn’t trust enough to wait for His time. It’s nearly perfect, because Sarai is now trying to use God as a weapon against Abram. Nightmare for Abram, that’s for sure.
Abram responds in a very unhelpful manor – telling Sarai, do what you want, she’s your slave. While this is true, it’s fairly obvious that Sarai is going to take out her resentment and anger on Hagar – that’s just not fair. She’s already you servant, perhaps a talking to might have been more effective than being so hard on her she runs away.
This is where God enters in, He steps in and starts clearing up the mess Sarai and Abram created.
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the desert, by the road to Shur.
The conversation between Hagar and God’s messenger (angel) takes a classic form. God asks questions, of which He already knows the answer. This is a recurring pattern. Just about every time somebody strays from God, God goes after them, and asks them what’s up. He already knows whats going on, He knows every part. However, God recognises the easiest way to approach the people involved to open by asking them what’s happening.
After having let them speak (something, which I’ve found parents and teacher’s unwilling to do, they ask their questions rhtorically.) God responds, there isn’t a telling off. The angel passes on to Hagar what she needs to do, go back to Sarai and Abram. However, Hagar isn’t just sent off, but she is given encouragement. The whole “more desendants then you can count” promise comes out again, kids where important in those days.
Pretty interesting what pans out – all because Sarai didn’t want to wait for God’s plan.
At Christmas and birthdays, how much excitement do you get from a present when you know what it is? Not much. How about when you unwrap that suspicious package, the one you couldn’t work out no matter how much you shook and squeezed it?
Even if it’s a pair of socks, and not the Ipad you where looking for, it’s still more exciting right? The tension – it’s fun! Now, if you’d known it was socks and not an Ipad, you’d have had less fun. Take my word for it, presents are less exciting to open when you know what they are.
In the same way if you try and do things ahead of God’s plan, they might just not work out so well. Look at what happened to Sarai and Abram.
So, remember, God’s time scale might not be the same as yours. Don’t rush into life with out a glance at God. Look to God, take note of when He plans for you to do something. Prepare so when the time comes you’re ready, but don’t set off before God is going to go with you.
All things come to those who wait.
Thanks for reading!