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COLLATERAL DAMAGE: A Study of Hagar, Part 2

In the last study, we looked at Hagar and how her life was impacted by Abram and Sarai taking matters into their own hands instead of waiting on the Lord. There are more dynamics to this story than can be addressed in two studies, but we will look at a few. God had given a promise to Abram and Sarai that He would give them descendants. But many years had passed since that initial promise, so Abram and Sarai decided they would help the Lord out. How many times do we do this? And the result is other people get hurt. Sarai came up with the idea that she would give her slave girl to Abram to have a child by her. Perhaps when Hagar conceived, that confirmed to Sarai her fear that she was the problem. But another dynamic of this story is that Hagar, in her flesh, despised Sarai after she became pregnant. When we find ourselves hurt by others, our tendency is to act in the flesh, to nurse our wounds, to feel sorry for ourselves. Hagar found herself pregnant, in bondage, in seeming hopelessness, so she fled to the wilderness. There she met the Angel of the LORD, a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus. Throughout the Old Testament we see Jesus, on special occasions, appearing  as a man before His incarnation. We know this is Jesus because He told Hagar, "I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude," and after this appearance Hagar "then called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, 'Have I also here seen Him who sees me?'" Genesis 16:10 & 13 NKJV. We saw that the Lord told Hagar to go back to Sarai and submit herself, something that would be difficult to do. It's always difficult to submit ourselves, but an unsubmissive heart is a hard heart. Apparently she returned with a submitted heart and shared with Abram and Sarai what the Lord had said.  She bore Abram a son when he was eighty-six years old and called him Ishmael, just as the Lord had instructed.

The next we see in Genesis is a fast forward to Abram at ninety-nine years old. Hagar has been there for 13 more years...

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