Sarai Helps God | Genesis 16

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World English Bible Genesis 16

Abram Gets Hagar Pregnant at Sarai’s request!

1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children. She had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2 Sarai said to Abram, “See now, Yahweh has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my servant. It may be that I will obtain children by her.” Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife. 4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived. When she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. 5 Sarai said to Abram, “This wrong is your fault. I gave my servant into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes. Yahweh judge between me and you.”

6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your hand. Do to her whatever is good in your eyes.” Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face.

7 Yahweh’s angel found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain on the way to Shur. 8 He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where did you come from? Where are you going?”

She said, “I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai.”

9 Yahweh’s angel said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands.” 10 Yahweh’s angel said to her, “I will greatly multiply your offspring,* that they will not be numbered for multitude.” 11 Yahweh’s angel said to her, “Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction. 12 He will be like a wild donkey among men. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. He will live opposite all of his brothers.”

13 She called the name of Yahweh who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees,” for she said, “Have I even stayed alive after seeing him?” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi. Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

15 Hagar bore a son for Abram. Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

Thoughts for the day

When God gives us a promise, is it our job to bring it about? Being a believer in the statement that “God helps those who help themselves”, this passage raises some interesting questions for me. When Sarai offered Hagar for Abram to sleep with; did God know Sarai would do this in advance, and factor it into his plan?  We are told God is Omniscient (All Knowing including all past, and all future).  We would therefore conclude that God knew this would happen.  Knowing this would happen, God would most certainly have built this action into his plan to fulfill his promise to Abram. That leads us to a second question. When Sarai realized she was too old to have children, was it right for to offer her maid servant to Abram? My answer would be a definitive NO!

Abram should not have made love to Hagar not because she was not his wife. There is no direct biblical prohibition against sex outside of marriage at the time. The story of Adam and eve, would lend credence to an intention of heterosexual monogamous relationships; but that is secondary to this story. The real question is, did Sarai and Abram trust God to fulfill his promise? The answer is mostly, but God would need some help.  The truth is, God revealed everything to Abram on a need to know basis, he rarely had all of God’s plan at once. Abram in my opinion needed to wait on the Lord. On a Secondary note, God in this story lets us men know that multiple women in the house are really more than even a patriarch can deal with.

Hagar suffered for Abrams transgression as Sarai becomes Jealous, Hagar runs away while pregnant, and God sends her back to submit to Sarai, but not before telling Hagar that her son will populate a great deal of the earth (Part of Gods Plan? Or a curse? We will see how it plays out). Sarai now has to put up with Hagar in the house, and Abram probably wants to hide from all of them. For a time the noise in this household was not a joyful noise.

One final note, if you are curious about how much of the future God knows, so am I. The Christian faith states God is all-knowing and he knows every step every person in the universe will take. What does this mean? If you believe he has laid out every detail ahead and knows the future because of that, you might believe in predestination. This could lead to giving up in believing one can have any influence in his future and that his history was pre-written. Maybe it is more like this, God knows everything in the past which in his world is infinite, and God knows everything in the future which is infinite. Just because he knows the record, does not mean he steps in at every turn of events. God lets everything playout in both his role, and in our role. He knows who will accept his message, and he cannot force people to accept his message, as he gave mankind free will. and who will not, but that does not affect the outcome. God has planned intervention points where he intervenes to preserve his people, we see many of these in the Bible. He knows how every one of his interventions will turn out.

There is one verse in the Bible that people often question when it comes to the all-knowing power of God. If Jesus while on earth was God, why did he not know the time of the end in Mathew 24:35-37? Jesus, was God as a man on the earth, so what gives? We are not going to look at the two natures of Christ on earth today. Much too complex for this study. We do need to get a quick fix though on Mathew 24: 35-37 as it seems to cause the all-knowing theory to defy reason. Mathew 24, says

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away. 36But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.” – Mathew 24:35-37

Mark 13:32 – No one, not even Jesus knows the time or the hour.

Hebrews 2:9 – Says Jesus was made a little lower than the angels when he was on earth as man. Phil. 2:5-8 says Jesus was as a bond servant, Luke 2:52 Jesus has to learn. Therefore in Mathew 24:35-37 we do not have any issue with God’s omniscience. Jesus just had is knowledge of many things truncated to some degree during his stent on earth.

Here are some verses to ponder in regard to Omniscient power:

Psalms 147:4

Acts 15:18

Psalms 33:13

IIKings 13:19

Jeremiah 38:17-20

Romans 4:17

Isaiah 46:10

Matthew 11:21-23

I Samuel 23:5-14

Have a Wonderful day, and know, that God can still carry out his plan, in spite of our efforts. Let God do the work, but when he says jump, Jump!

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