‘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 agreed to what Sarai said.’ – Genesis 16: 1-2
It reads like a daytime TV drama – jealousy, betrayal, heartbreak. With that in mind, let’s dive into the life of Abraham, the father of our faith. If you’re familiar with this story, then it’s not a surprise to learn that our lead character messes up multiple times throughout his faith journey. In today’s study, Abraham, once again, finds himself tangled in a pretty messy situation. But, let’s back up.
At the age of 75, Abraham obeys God’s call on his life – a huge step of faith. God promises to bless him and others through him, bringing about a great nation from Abraham’s lineage. Ten years pass and Sarah, Abraham’s wife, remains barren. No child, no heir. Frustrated, they take matters into their own hands. Sarah offers her maidservant, Hagar, to Abraham, hoping she will conceive a child. Abraham agrees and soon Hagar becomes pregnant. Everything seems to be working out great except for one thing -this wasn’t God’s plan. And pretty soon, not trusting God catches up with them. Jealousy and insecurity overwhelm Sarah, which eventually turns into anger towards Hagar. Things get so bad that Hagar runs away.
Can there be any resolution to such a mess? Yep. In the midst of it all, God demonstrated incredible grace and mercy on all sides. God met Hagar, a victim in this situation, on the desert road after she ran away. He spoke directly into her hopelessness: “Don’t lose heart,” He said. At Hagar’s lowest point, God showed up and promised to bless her.
But God didn’t stop there, He also extended grace to Abraham and Sarah, in spite of their sin. Eventually, God even fulfilled His promise of a son. Not because they deserved it, but because God’s plan was greater than their sin. In the same way, when life seems hopeless – when we really mess up – God offers us His grace through Christ’s death on the cross.
Are you willing to accept the forgiveness, grace, and love of God? No matter what’s happened in your story, don’t give up. Jesus is always bigger than our hurt and our sin. Hagar believed it. Abraham received it. Will you?