Week 3: Day 3
“And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.” Genesis 16:15
Ishmael Born: Abram and Sarai Doubt God’s Promise of Offspring
As humans we tend to be impatient. Even when we know that something is likely to happen, we don’t want to wait! We want to take things into our own hands to make sure that an event takes place in our timing. In this passage, time seemed to be running out on Abram and Sarai to have the child through whom God had promised to bless the whole world (Gen 12, Gen 15). Abram and Sarai were getting older, and they saw no sign of the promised child. Sarai finally allowed her frustration to overcome her, and she told Abram to have a child with her servant, Hagar (Gen 16:2). Abram listened to his wife whose voice came with an echo from the garden (Gen 3:6). As sin does, this sin sparked more sin when Hagar got pregnant and “looked with contempt on her mistress” (Gen 16:4) and when Sarai “dealt harshly with her” (Gen 16:6). So the promise from God turned into a sinful mess because of man’s pride and impatience.
We see the same thing happening on this side of the cross. We tend to want to try to earn our salvation by our own efforts, by impressing others with our works. Instead of trusting in Christ’s works and waiting for his timing in our lives, we want to do things our own way. This always leads the same place—away from the promise.
Connection with Newer Testament
For the Kids:
Ask your children how they would feel if you promised them dessert after dinner but you got up from the table without getting dessert. Ask them if they would they be tempted to go to the cabinet to get dessert on their own rather than trust your promise that dessert would come some time after dinner? This is the temptation Abram and Sarai faced. Remind them that the Bible calls us to trust God, even when we may be tempted to think God has forgotten his promises. Remind them that Jesus has paid for the sin of our failures to trust God, if we repent of sin and turn to Jesus by faith.
1. Thank God for his abundant grace in your life. Like Hagar, most of us are not a part of God’s original chosen people of Israel; however, God still chose to intercede in our lives, showing us unmerited favor. Thank God for his faithful care for all of his children, not only those descended from Abraham.
2. In what ways have you grown blind or numb to God’s awesome work of grace in your life? Pray for a renewed heart to more fully see and worship him.