a. She took the position that lack of a child was because of a problem with her. She gave her slave to Abram as a wife
b. 15:4 son who is your own flesh and blood
c. Believed God could give Abram a son. Did not believe His plan was to do that through Sarai, since she had not had children.
a. 16:3-4 Abram took Hagar to be his wife, slept with her and she conceived; 16:4 Hagar despised Sarai; 16:6 Abram disowned Hagar, Sarai mistreated her, she fled; 16:10-12 Lord’s promise to her about Ishmael ch20 Isaac born, Hagar/Ishmael sent away – According to tradition, Ishmael is the father of Islam
b. Each time that we trust more in our own thoughts and actions and plans rather than rely with patience on God. Each time we rely on what is acceptable as cultural norms, rather than acceptable in God’s eyes. Each time we focus on what is “wrong with me” or “my faults” rather than the power of God.
c. Stress. I spent twice the amount of time calling on God to bail me out of the mess than I would have spent praying to Him for guidance and timing
My Daily Journal:
I was convicted by Sarai’s self focus and self blame. So often we think of self focus as “it’s all about me”, egotistical, narcissistic. But that sword also cuts the other way. How often when we see problems, especially those being faced by loved ones, do we internalize the blame or cause to be something about us? If I had been a better __________, then they would not be facing this problem.
Our lesson talked about “unbelief” today in the discussion of Abram and Sarai and their decision to bring Hagar into the picture. Clearly, there was some “under-belief” in not seeing the full power of God, but I think that stemmed more from focus than heart. Sarai’s focus became one of what am I doing wrong? How are my “faults” hindering my loved ones? And she took action to take herself out of the picture, to stop being the roadblock that she had convinced herself that she was to her husband and to God.
I can relate to that internal dialogue. The lesson for me is, for better or for worse, it really is not about me. I am not big enough to be a roadblock to God. I am not perfect in my thoughts, words and deeds, but I am forgiven and blameless in the eyes of God. I can do better, but the first thing I need to do is change the focus of my eyes, head and heart from a focus on my faults to a focus on God’s power.