Sermon Illustrations

A young woman is being abused by the person she is living with. She feels powerless and no longer in control of her life. Oh, she has not been physically assaulted, nevertheless she feels hurt, scared and humiliated. She is being threatened and bullied and harassed. She is constantly put-down and treated as worthless.

She has been involved in an adulterous relationship, but now he is ignoring her. She was manipulated and forced into this situation and now she has been rejected. All she gets are dirty looks and put-downs. AND NOW SHE IS PREGNANT. What will she do?

SHE DECIDES TO RUN AWAY. She feels so unwelcome in her own home. She has no money of her own. She finds herself alone, pregnant and homeless on the street.

Abuse can destroy lives and hurt people. Unfortunately it is part of our everyday lives. We see it on the news, in the movies, or on TV. We read about it in the newspapers and magazines and we all suffer the consequences of it.

In Genesis 16:7 a young woman named Hagar finds herself in the situation I have just described. She is a servant to Abram and Sarai. Sarai can't have children and in a twisted turn of events Sarai has manipulated her into an adulterous relationship with her husband so that she can produce a surrogate child for them. Hagar gets pregnant but despises Sarai and it shows. SARAI TREATS HAGAR SO BADLY THAT HAGAR RUNS AWAY.

One article I read on abuse asked some good questions which would have been good for Sarai to consider. Good for all of us actually. It said, "Do you want relationships where people feel respected, or where they feel scared? Do you want people to be with you because they love and respect you, or stay because of fear? Do you want people to feel scared of you, or to feel safe and able to speak their mind? Do you want a life where you are under the influence of your temper or one where you are in charge of yourself? Do you want relationships where people move away from you to keep themselves safe or are you looking for ways to bring them closer?"

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