Genesis 16:9, “And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.”
The birth of Ishmael was the result of human efforts. Hagar conceived Abraham’s child. Sarah responded with anger and cruelty toward Hagar, even though this was her own idea. Some people even today try to help God fulfill His promises. We are tempted to solve our problems with our own solutions. Let us draw near to God in prayer regarding every detail! We can learn some needed truths about ourselves from following questions: What is the right way to choose pastors and workers in churches? How worldly are we when we choose our life partner? How honest are we at our jobs? How much do we wait for the Lord to reveal to us the work and the call He has for us in our church, family, work place, etc.? We need to wait in prayer to receive light from the Lord regarding our decisions, both big and small. Maybe our human nature is seen in everything we do or, maybe we see the work of God and our dependence on Him in all things. In all areas of life we need to wait for the Lord. Let’s not hurry to help God to accomplish His promises faster.
Eventually, Hagar ran from Sarah’s harsh treatment. She apparently was going back home to Egypt, but before she got there, she was met by the Angel of the Lord. Who was the Angel of the Lord? This is understood to be Jesus Himself. Hagar, Ishmael’s mother saw, heard, and spoke to the Angel of the Lord, and He helped her solve the problem. Whenever we run from our problems, and do not know what to do, we struggle in confusion and sorrow. But the Angel of the Lord comes to us and helps us to see our condition, and then tells us what to do to fix the problem. Often, when we run away from trouble to get out of it, it only gets worse. Hagar made her problem bigger by fleeing into the wilderness. Nobody could help her raise the child and take care of him in the desert. Although she didn’t know the Angel of the Lord, she obeyed Him. We need to pray to have understanding and to obey the Lord when He speaks to us. Everyone can remember a time in the past when the Lord helped someone overcome a difficult situation. We need to thank Him for His security and protection. For what promises (yet future) do you thank the Lord?
O, God, how often I find myself in the shoes of Sarah, who wanted to help You fulfill Your promise to her family! I’m so worldly sometimes and have hurried to solve problems in a natural way without waiting in silence for Your will to be done, for Your help that will come in due season for me. Although I know haste makes waste, I see myself lost in my plans and desires. I need Your help. I need Your rest and strength to walk by faith, not by what I see. Speak to me, Lord, for I do not want to stay stuck in my natural tendencies, but rather to have Your light in all areas of life. Teach me to wait with joy for Your time for everything. You are my Lord and I want to be humble and obedient to You.
Father, I thank You for teaching me to be humble and patient!