Friday, February 22, 2008
The Birth of Ishmael
1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal. 3 So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.)
4 So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt. The Lord will show who’s wrong—you or me!”
6 Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. 8 The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.
9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10 Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”
11 And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. 12 This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”
13 Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.”[a] She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” 14 So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.
Time to reflect: Sarai took matters into her own hands after God had promised her a child. She thought she could hurry things up a bit by letting her husband sleep with Hagar. After which when Hagar became pregnant Sarai blamed Abram. "It is all your fault now my own slave struts around thinking she is better than I am." Abram said "deal with her as you wish but do not blame me this was your idea not mine."
Okay so now Hagar is being mistreated while pregnant and she runs away. The words that stuck out in my mind reading this passage is that it says God hears Hagar. Then it says that she began calling God by a different name that means "God sees me" It was in this statement I found myself looking up with the overwhelming feeling of being watched. Though we learn since the time we are little God is with us. Seeing the relationship between Hagar and her God "my God Who sees me" really brought the point home. I felt like God was smiling down, even laughing with me at my simple but profound feeling of his presence. Have you ever been around others all day long and felt completely invisible. Sometimes even our best friends we have known for years can look at us and just not get us, just not see us for what, who we are. We long for just one person to understand. God does not just look down upon us. He sees us! God is not only always listening. He hears us for what our hearts cry out not just what words are spoken out loud. I have taken Hagar's name for her Mighty God into my heart. And as I kneel to pray I recognize Him in such a way.
Lord heavenly father, My God who sees Me! I pray for all to know your presence in such a profound way. I pray for everyone to see how precious a gift you have for us all. A relationship of complete understanding, Love , forgiveness, while you guide us and teach us in the way we are meant to live and be. I praise you My God whom sees me, whom sees us all! amen
Posted by Tabitha Ruth at 9:19 AM