Yesterday, we saw how poor Hagar was just a pawn in Sarai’s sin. She had no control over what happened to her. Her mistress forced her to have sex with her mistress’s husband, she conceived, and her mistress became so bitter and dealt so harshly with her that Hagar ran away. Today, we will see what happens to Hagar.
Please read Genesis 16:7-16.
This won’t be the last time that Hagar has to leave her home. The next time that she leaves, she and her son will be cast out by Abraham, but here, she is simply running away because of all the harsh treatment that she is experiencing at the hands of Sarai. Both times that she leaves, God appears to her and shows her mercy. Isn’t God good?!
Here, we see the angel of the Lord appearing to Hagar and telling her some very good news: (1) you will have even more children—a whole multitude of descendants, and (2) the child in your womb will be a son and he will be a king among men.
Imagine how this must have made Hagar feel. She was a servant, being mistreated by her mistress. Yet, God was promising that her son would be a great leader among men, and a great nation would come from her womb! This battered slave would become a queen mother! Can you imagine any greater news?
What about God taking a lowly slave to sin, and raising him up to be a child of the King? What about God calling a dirty, rotten sinner, and transforming him into a holy, righteous saint?
God has worked great miracles throughout history, and regularly chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; the weak things of the world to shame the strong; the lowly things of the world, and the things that are not, in order to shame and nullify the things that are “so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).
This is found in God’s mercy toward a slave woman. And this is found in God’s mercy toward you and me. We are undeserving; He is worthy.
Yet, even when God shows mercy, He always requires something in return. His mercy is freely given, but it requires a response on our part. Salvation is available to all, but only those who receive it are saved. The same was true for Hagar—God promised her great blessings, but he also required: (1) that she return to her mistress and submit to her, and (2) that she name her son Ishmael, which means “God hears.”
Hagar responded in faith and obedience. She believed God, and so did what He said. We should do likewise. If you truly believe God has shown such mercy toward you that he has saved you from your sin, then do what He says! Only then will you experience the full blessings of God—the joy, love, and peace that come from being an obedient child of the King.
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