Genesis 16 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Abram replied to Sarai, “Here, your slave is in your hands; do whatever you want with her. Then Sarai mistreated her so much that she ran away from her. The Angel of the L_rd found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. He said, Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” Genesis 16: 6-8a
Throughout my church experience, whenever Hagar has been mentioned, she has been vilified as the mother of radical Islam. That may be undeserved criticism towards one whom the L_rd blessed.
Interestingly, G_d never pronounced Abram’s intimacy with Hagar as sin. What is clear is that Abram’s intimacy was a symbol of his intimacy with Egypt. Hagar was an Egyptian slave, whom Sarai had obtained while in Egypt.
It is important to remember that Abram profited from his sin in Egypt. All the while, Sarai suffered the personal burden of keeping Abram’s lie secret, all the while staving-off the advances of Pharaoh. In a similar way, Abram profited from his relations with Hagar at the emotional risk of Sarai. Abe had issues with passivity. Instead of taking G_d’s promises and direction at face value, Abram injected human reason to accomplish G_d’s purposes. Perhaps, he was the “father of our faith” in more ways than one…
On both occasions, Sarai was left to fend for herself. Sarai’s reaction to Hagar’s pregnancy (which led to Hagar’s change of attitude) within the context of Sarai’s marriage relationship with Abram, was an explosion of pent-up emotion against Abram’s neglect of her in Egypt. That’s not to say Sarai was justified in abusing Hagar. I simply want to paint an accurate emotional portrait of Abram & Sarai’s marriage.
So what of G_d’s response of Hagar and her unborn son? Today’s passage mentions the “Angel of the L_rd” visited Hagar on the way back to Egypt. Shur was the boundary wall that protected Egypt from raiding nomads.
The narrative illustrates beautifully the L_rd’s regard for the saddened and abandoned soul. It is the first time “angel” is found in the bible. The phrase “Angel of the L_rd” denotes more than simply one of the L_rd’s angels. The Angel of the L_rd is believed by many theologians to be Messiah, Himself.
It is important to note that even though G_d knows the outcome of our decisions, He still presents us with the option to choose or reject Him. As for us, the outcomes of our decisions are generally a mystery, right up to point that we make them. So, do you know where have you come from, and where are you going? Don’t go back to Egypt! Choose to trust the L_rd and follow Messiah, Yeshua!
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Sunday, January 26, 2014