Tuesday (2/6)
Tuesday (2/6)

Tuesday (2/6)

The Passage

Genesis 16:1-16

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.

The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her,

“Behold, you are pregnant

and shall bear a son.

You shall call his name Ishmael,

because the Lord has listened to your affliction.

12  He shall be a wild donkey of a man,

his hand against everyone

and everyone’s hand against him,

and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.

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

Word Work

Put it in your own words. Read the passage or verse slowly, then rewrite each phrase or sentence using your own words.

Word Thoughts:

Sarai’s proposal that Abram have a child with Hagar was in accordance with custom, but the rivalry that ensues after Hagar’s pregnancy with Ishmael reveals the effects of any deviation from God’s plan (cf. 2:24). God movingly comes to the aid of Hagar after she is expelled by Sarai. She receives a blessing, is instructed to name her child Ishmael (“God hears”), and names the place of the revelation Beer-lahai-roi (“well of the Living One who sees me”).

The story is a poignant reminder of the strong temptation to take matters into our own hands when God’s promises seem to be beyond fulfillment. Sarai’s desire for children to fulfill God’s promise bypassed her calling to trust the Lord and his own timing. Yet even in the midst of Sarai’s failure God showed mercy not only to Hagar but also to Sarai, who eventually did bear a son—a birth that truly fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham and that would ultimately result in the birth of Christ. God’s people are called to trust him no matter how hopeless his promises may seem.

The supreme example of God fulfilling his promises amid what appears to be his utter absence is the cross of Christ. Here, if ever, it seemed that Satan was winning. Yet it was precisely here that God was at work to decisively fulfill his promises to his people. (1)

Word Reflection:

  1. What stood out?
  2. Why did Abram and Sarai think they could fix their circumstances themselves?
  3. Can you remember when you took the circumstance into your own hands and it didn’t work out?
Memory Verse(s): Genesis 16:13

13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”

End in Prayer

Resources used:

  1. Gospel Transformation Study Bible