Think On This – – Hagar

330px-Expulsion_of_Ishmael_and_His_Mother

Genesis 16 and 21

Did you know that Hagar was the only person who gave God a name?  She called Him the God who sees me. El Roi. All of the other names given to Him were given by Himself.

Hagar was a slave, given to Abram by Sarai to produce a child who would fulfill God’s promise of offspring as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand of the sea.  According to the custom of the time that was totally acceptable. But she was still a slave and probably felt invisible, unnecessary, and unloved.

After the birth of Ishmael, Sarai abused Hagar to the point that Abram sent both her and her son away from the camp, into the desert. At the point of death by starvation and dehydration, Hagar heard God’s voice. Not once, but twice.  He told her to go back and she did. I don’t know about you but I’m reasonably sure I would have questioned that and had some second thoughts. Why would she even want to go back to the abuse? What was this God thinking? But back she went, to Abram. Guess what? Did God speak to Abram, too? When she got there he (Abram) protected her. I wonder if she ever felt safe again?

We all spend time in the ‘desert’. Whether by our own choice, someone else’s, or circumstances. We all know what it’s like to feel isolated and unloved, without hope.  We know the pain of being placed in circumstances that are not of our own choosing.  Yet, as this story shows, God is always with us, always seeing. He alone provides and protects.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I hope you’ll take the time to watch this beautiful video: The God Who Sees

Think On This – – Sarai

Sarai Is Taken to Pharaoh’s Palace by James Tissot.

Genesis 12

Why was Abraham so afraid of dying that he gave Sarai to the Pharoah as a concubine, saying she was his sister? (True, but a partial lie is still a lie, right?)

Sarai was almost 70 at this point. Her beauty must have been stunning!  What must she have thought of her husband? Was he a bully, in that he seemed to be an expert liar and manipulator?

Here’s an interesting article you might want to check out. Sarah’s Abduction by Dr. Ralph Wilson.

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn. 1606-1669

 

Genesis 22

After the sacrifice, Abraham went to Beersheba and lived there. Was he afraid to face Sarah?

What must Sarah have thought/felt when she discovered why Abraham took Isaac? It seems that a short while after she found out she moved away ,as she died in Hebron (See 23:1). Had she had enough? Did Abraham try to stop her?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Read more in When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams by Jill Eileen Smith

When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams – – Book Review

Eve… Sarai… Hagar… Rebekah… Rachel… Leah… Dinah…

Stories we know quite well yet is there more to these women?

What happens when we insist on doing God’s job for Him? What happens when one assumes they know best and determines to go a step further? It seems each woman named above had to find out her own way and often that is/was the hard way.

There are some tremendously powerful words in these stories. Often, I could see myself and my own responses. Although I knew these stories well, I found myself re-reading and pondering them more deeply.

We’ve all struggled with the some, or all of the same issues these women have. Things like knowing what we’re supposed to do and not doing it… Doubt… Fear… Survival… Abandonment… Disobedience… Choices… Desperation… Yet deep down God is always there and always will be.  The lives of these women are changed and made better even When Life Doesn’t Match (their) Your Dreams (by Jill Eileen Smith).  Yours will be, too!

Read it! It’s worth it!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Harvest House Books and Blythe Daniel. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

A Promise Kept

Do you believe that God’s Promises are real?  That He can do what He says He can do?  It’s so easy, in a world of broken promises, to get a very jaded attitude about this subject.  Promises are made and broken with such regularity it’s what we expect to happen.  In the story of Abram and Sarai we are given a glimpse into a Promise Kept.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

I’m sure you know the story…God told Abram to pick up his family, flocks and possessions and move from Ur to where ever He told him to stop.  God’s promise was that Abram’s offspring would number more than the stars in the sky and the sand on the beach.  So Abram said sure, I can do that and he began walking.  He got side-tracked a bit when they stopped in Haran to visit his father.  During the lengthy visit his father died and he remembered what God had promised so off he went again.

Abram and Sarai seemed to like doing things themselves rather than waiting on God.  (How much like us is that?)  During their journey Abram passed off Sarai as his sister to protect themselves.  (BTW she really was his half-sister.  It was very common to marry within the family at that time because there weren’t a lot of options.)  Sarai got tired of waiting for this promised heir, so she gave Abram Hagar to have a child with.   The child was conceived, born and caused no end of envy in Sarai’s heart.  Abraham got so tired of her constant nagging that he told her to do whatever she wanted with Hagar.  That nearly cost Hagar and Ismael their lives, but God intervened and promised a great heritage to them, also.  We are still seeing the impact of Sarai’s misguided decision today–Isaacs descendants are, of course, the Israelites and Ishmail’s are the Arabs…need I say more on that?

Abraham and the Three Angels  by  J.Tissot

Abraham and the Three Angels by J.Tissot

There is another part to this story that tells us Sarai had pretty much given up on the Promise.  When the three men came to visit Abram in Shechem (the fulfillment of the land part of the Promise) they told Abram they would visit again in a year and at that time he would have a son.  Sarai, who was standing in the tent listening, thought to herself–Yeah!  Right! Not gonna happen. I’m to old.  Ha! Ha!  When asked why she laughed she said I didn’t.  The man said, yes, you did!  Genesis 18 verses 1 and 2 tell us who these visitors were.  Abram addresses Him as LORD (It’s capitalized in every  translation I read which means a direct reference to Yahwah!)  Sarai’s denial of laughter makes sense when we realize that God was the One who ‘heard’ her.

God followed through and Isaac was born.  Not only Isaac but three more sons and two daughters.  When Isaac was 37 years old Sarah went to her reward.  In her lifetime she learned a very important concept…God keeps His promises.

Heavenly Father, Lord of all,  help me realize and recognize Your Promises.  I give You thanks for all You’ve given me!  I ask that You make me constantly aware of You and Your blessings.  I lift this prayer in the Precious Name of Jesus.  Make it so!

The story of Abraham and Sarah can be found in the following scripture:

Genesis 11 – 21