In a step away from our study of 1 Samuel we are going to examine a story in Genesis 16 with Stephen Searles, our Church Planter in Residence. While it may be out of our current book of study, we’ll find that today’s passage still sheds light on what happens when our mess meets God’s mercy.
Abram was a man with whom God had made a unique covenant: God would make of Abram’s descendants a great nation to be a blessing to every nation on earth. Just one minor problem arose, Abram had no children and his days to do so seemed to be coming to an end. In a moment of impatience Abram’s wife, Sarai, decides to give her slave Hagar over to her husband to use as a tool to conceive.
This was not God’s plan, and her impatience would cause heart ache and conflict for everyone involved. Hagar conceives and immediately she begins to resent her master which in turn creates great conflict between Sarai and Hagar. So much so that Hagar runs away.
Our impatience with God often brings about unhelpful conclusions to problems we face. Waiting is hard. Waiting makes us feel alone–like no one sees us, hears us, or knows us, not even God.
In this story everyone involved feels like God has abandoned them, Sarai and Abram in childbearing and Hagar in everything. But just as God always does He shows up at just the right time to remind us that we are not alone. He went so far as to send is only Son, Jesus, so we would never have to feel alone again.