Friday, March 18, 2011

Genesis 16:1-4

How gracious our God is! I just want to thank you all for your words of sympathy and for all of the prayers that have gone up on behalf of our family and for sweet Stephanie and my sister, Jodi. Bless you all!!! Keep ‘em coming, please!!

In the midst of this surreal time, you shake your head at how life just moves on - just like the images of that unrelenting tsunami that swept everything in its path away. While you feel your life stand still, everything and everyone rushes on - and you have to as well, because the meals need to be prepared, the lessons need to be planned, the papers still need to be graded. So, how grateful I am for the “need” to be back in His Word this morning!  And, goodness, we are at one of the most amazing stories in the Bible! Poor Sarai! She goes down here as one of the worst “helpers” of God! Her decision to further God’s plan still has ramifications to this very day! !

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” (vs 1-2)

We know that Abram had received God’s promise of an heir - and that he had believed God that it would happen. It would seem that Sarai had not had the same personal encounters with God, so she apparently did not know His character as well. She has heard about these promises, but not seeing any way that she could be involved, since she was clearly barren and way too old, she assumes she can help God along with this one. What jumped out at me this morning was the phrase perhaps I can build a family through her [Hagar]. Sarai would build the family, not God. How subtle that one pronoun is, and yet it is the heart of the problem, isn’t it?

This is such a hard passage to read - I cringe when I read these verses, because I know how often I, too, have tried to “help” God. Just one of MANY examples was how I thought I knew best what my daughter, Emmy, needed best in a mate - and I tried to pray away Nathan when they were dating! I had my friends praying for a more “godly” match, because I didn’t think Nathan was quite the spiritual leader I wanted for Emmy!!! I always tell people that Nathan is the best “NO!” I ever received from God!! He is the most adoring, fun, and GODLY husband and father to Emmy and Beau - and I could not love him more if I had given birth to him myself. The LORD graciously ignored my attempts to manipulate that circumstance, and now I always tell younger mothers, let God be God in the lives of your children. He can do such a better job. We think they have to have certain experiences (go to prom, be in student government, go to a certain college, marry a particular type) because of our own experiences, yet God’s plan is so much better. He is building His faith walk with each of our children individually, and we need to let it go!! What would I ever do without my wonderful Nathan???

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. (vs 2b-4)

When I read Abram agreed to what Sarai said I thought of the pattern of faith we’ve seen: Abram believed God. I’m thinking that he certainly is agreeable! Agreeing with Sarai about taking another woman? Well, of course he did! DUH! Oh my goodness, what a disaster awaits him! He will be so sorry he ever agreed to this one!! Sarai will be so very sorry that she did not wait on God, but took matters into her own hands.

When Emmy was in college, she was visiting the home of her dear friend, Megan. Megan’s mom, Chris, was counseling the girls about dating and men. She very wisely told them, “Wait for your Isaac - don’t settle for Ishmael!” What perfect advice! I have repeated it over and over to others! And we will see here that Sarai will so wish she had waited on God instead of rushing in with a solution.

More about that next week! Have a blessed weekend. I’ll be working on report cards - Oh, help me dear LORD!!! :)


No comments:

Post a Comment