Scripture: Genesis 16-18. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
Sarai gave Hagar (her servant) to Abram as a substitute wife and to have his child. God had already promised a son to Abram, so this action showed a lack of faith, on Abram’s part, that God would fulfill that promise. Hagar and Abram’s son was named Ishmael. Sarai later blamed Abram for the results and took her anger out on Hagar, who then ran away. The angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar and told her to return and face Sarai. God, once again, repeated His covenant to Abram, and God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, “father of many” – which is how the Bible recognized him from then on. Also, God made a different covenant with Abraham. This covenant had terms that Abraham would once again obey God and circumcise all the males in his household. Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah. The Lord appeared to Abraham and sent three visitors. Abraham showed great hospitality. God tells Abraham and Sarah that Sarah would have a child, but Sarah did not believe this would happen at such an old age. God tells Abraham that He is going to destroy the wicked city of Sodom, and Abraham questioned if God was going to destroy the righteous with the wicked. God agreed to spare the entire city if only ten righteous people lived there, saving Lot, as well.
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
When we ask God for something, we sometimes become impatient and are tempted to take matters into our own hands. We must wait upon God; He knows the plans He has for us. Also, it is easier to strike out in anger and frustration and accuse someone else than to admit an error and ask for forgiveness, such as in Sarai’s example with Hagar and Abram. Anger can be a dangerous emotion, and we need to learn how to control our tempers. Running away from our problems rarely solves anything. It is best to face the issue(s) at hand and accept God’s help, correcting our attitudes in the meantime. No problem is too big for our God. God is the only one with the power and ability to meet our every need. When we get discouraged, it is very simple to allow doubt to take over our lives. We may start thinking that God seems to want the impossible for us – and nothing is impossible to God. We should focus on God’s commitment to fulfill His promises to us and always obey His commands.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, we pray that You will help us to trust Your plan for our lives, even when Your plan doesn’t seem like it’s possible, in our minds. We trust in Your plans for us, even though we get impatient in life. Help us to be slow to anger and admit to our wrongs and ask for forgiveness. We know that you have complete control in all of our lives, and we thank You for everything you do for us. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.