Previously I asked: What do you think moved Abram from indifference to Hagar’s situation to agreement with her when naming Ishmael?
Have you thought about this? What conclusion did you reach? Read Genesis 16 again as a refresher …Then here are some thoughts to consider …
Interestingly, the verses between Abram’s indifference until his agreement with Hagar show us only how God reach to Hagar and her response to Him. But, before we look into that, let’s review the events that led up to it.
Hagar was a slave who was wed to her master and forced to carry his child. When she realized she carried a child and her mistress, Sarai, could not, she despised or dishonored Sarai. Sarai blamed Abram who indifferently returned Hagar to Sarai again as a slave. Sarai retaliated by abusing Hagar. Hagar ran away where the Lord’s angel found her and told her to return. Up to this point what we read of Abram is that he agreed with Sarai and was indifferent to Hagar’s situation.
Now let’s briefly look at the interaction between Hagar and God’s angel in the desert. Notice during the encounter Hagar was asked where she came from and where she was going. Her response only answers half of the question that she is running away from her mistress. She is told to return and then given a promise of numerous descendants and a son in her womb. Hagar was encouraged when she realized God saw her. Can’t you just hear her saying to herself, “Yes, God sees me! He knows all the wrong I have suffered! I am no longer alone!”? Upon her return, Hagar’s submission to Sarai was ultimately her submission or obedience to God who saw her and told her to return.
So, again, what moved Abram to agreement? Hagar first obeyed God by returning and submitting to her mistress, Sarai. Only after the birth of the baby do we see Abram take action in agreement with Hagar, naming the baby Ishmael, the name God told her to use. Her obedience to God led to blessing – the birth of a son, the agreement of Abram when naming the baby and she knew without doubt that God sees her, knows her situation. She is no longer alone, no longer without one to care for her.
Hagar did not have the benefit of studying God’s written Word as we do. Yet she enjoyed the benefit of his blessing when she obeyed His voice. What benefits will you enjoy? Will you read His Word and allow it to grow in your thoughts and heart? Will you listen for His voice and obey your conscience as He speaks to you? The choice is yours alone. Will you obey Him, submit to His instructions and experience His blessings?
I’d love to celebrate with you as you find His blessings on the other side of obedience! Feel free to write and tell me about where he leads you! But, most of all, give Him the glory!
Many Blessings …
From Indifference to Obedience – Part 2 © 2011 Tanja Dufrene