18 August 2013: “The Grace of God; a story of Hope – Hagar” (Genesis 16)

Aug 18, 13 18 August 2013: “The Grace of God; a story of Hope – Hagar” (Genesis 16)

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Written By: Youth Pastor Lydia Ang

 

Our text for today begins in chapter 16 of Genesis where we are introduced to Hagar, the servant girl of Sarai (Sarah). Her master Abraham and mistress were given a promise by God that they’d bear a son and they’d be the father/mother of a great people. But Sarah was childless and getting on in years; she gives up hope and decides to give Hagar as a wife to Abraham.  Abraham unwisely agrees with the plan. Hagar is not consulted; she is simply instructed to do so and she does. Soon she conceives and this family is plunged into a web of hurts and hidden resentment.

 

When Hagar was pregnant, she began to resent Sarah who in turn mistreated her. Try to imagine the impact on Hagar (she’s a Gentile, an Egyptian) when the only believers of God she knew used her in the way that they did! When she ran away, I doubt she had any faith in them or in their God. But when she was in the desert, she received a visit from an angel.

 

The angel asked her, Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” (Genesis 16:8) Such thought-provoking questions! Have you ever felt God asking you these questions before? Where have you come from? And where are you planning to go to? Are you running from the place God has sent you and are you pulling yourself away from the believers of God? Then “the angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” (Genesis 16:9) That’s the last thing she wants to do! But Hagar obeyed and did as the Lord commanded. When Hagar’s baby Ishmael arrived, it wasn’t easy for all at home. The child was probably much loved when he was young but when he was 14, Abraham and Sarah miraculously conceived and had the promised son from God. Ishmael was no doubt pushed aside. In time, Sarah demands that Hagar and the child be sent away.

 

All in all, this sounds like a story of rejection and tragic despair but actually it is a victorious story of hope. For when all hope seemed lost, where water has run out, and Ishmael lays dying, Hagar sees God coming to deliver and bless them. This story is a powerful one of the grace of God as well, for though it was never intended that Hagar be Abraham’s wife, or that Ishmael be the promised son, they too received a promise from God of a good future and descendants.

In a meaningless life, we experience the grace of God. Who is Hagar? God knew and God cared. Who am I? Who are you? God knows and He cares.

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