Today's passage: Genesis 16:1-16
- When people try to find a different way to bring about God's promises, trouble is not far off.
- After Sarah gave up hope of bearing her own child, she offered Abraham a second wife. Abraham could have said, “no.”
- What Sarah suggested (And what Abraham accepted) was customary in their culture. When we try to figure out how to bring about God's promises, we will often default to the world's practices.
- There are a number of instances of polygamy in the Old Testament. This practice is never encouraged and always results in trouble. The Bible defines marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24, Deuteronomy 17:14-17, Ephesians 5:33, 1 Timothy 3:2).
- The name, “Ishmael” means God hears. Hagar called God a “God of seeing.” God hears and sees…and He cares.
- Hagar returned to Abraham and Sarah and obeyed the Lord's command. She also must have informed Abraham of God's instruction. Abraham named their son, Ishmael.
Questions to consider:
- How can narratives like this further our trust in the authenticity and accuracy of the Scriptures? Does the Bible seek to glamorize or hide the faults of its main characters? When we read the Bible, what are we seeing?
- Why must we be careful as individuals and as a church to not to overvalue “results” in our ministry? What does God desire from us? Who ultimately is responsible for the fruit?
- How does knowing we have a God who sees and hears bring us comfort? How can these truths encourage us to pray? How can these truths encourage us to pursue righteousness? How do these truths encourage us to rest in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins?