Today I Read: Genesis 16
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram (later called Abraham) was a man of great faith, but even he got antsy.
Abram and Sarai were childless. That can be a heartbreaking reality for couples even today. Abram seemed resigned to this fate, but in Genesis 15 God promises him a son – an heir of his own flesh and blood. And, to Abram’s credit, he genuinely believes this promise.
But 10 years pass and things haven’t changed. Abram and Sarai are growing restless. So Sarai hatches a plan to “help” God out. She tells Abram to conceive a child with Hagar, her maidservant (how desperate must she have been to suggest to her husband to sleep with another woman?). And Abram, being the strong leader he is [sarcasm!], sits on his hands and complies.
[BTW, some people think the Bible is just a book full of heroes who did everything right. It mostly gives us examples of what not to do.]
This decision had disastrous consequences. It led to jealously and abuse toward Hagar. It led to a broken home for Ishmael, the baby. It led to further delay of a promise, like when you take a shortcut to your friend’s birthday party and get so lost that by the time you arrive all the ice cream cake is gone. You should have stuck to the main roads. But I love that in His grace, God showed tenderness to Hagar and blessed Ishmael.
This story is a great reminder to me of how fickle I can be. I can believe God – genuinely, truly believe him – yet still get ants in my pants and try to control outcomes.
Questions I’m Pondering: How have I tried to “help” God out in the past? What blessings did it delay?
In Other News: This happened. Really.
Song of The Day: Say Goodbye To Hollywood by Billy Joel.