Summary: The Wicked have always persecuted the righteous; yet it is not our task to hate and hurt back but to turn the other cheek and bless them who curse us.
Genesis 21:9-21 is an Old Testament Passage with a New Testament Parallel familiar perhaps to some, but worth hearing all over again.
< Read Gen 21:9-21; Gal 4:21-31>
1. Combined these texts cover our relationship to the Law and to Grace, and there are other lessons in here as well for followers of Jesus. THE PASSAGE STARTS IN VERSE 9 WITH MOCKERY.
Sarah saw the son of Hagar mocking her own son. As Paul draws the distinction calling Hagar the Law, and therefore Sarah is Grace; everyone of us needs to take to heart a promise.
In general, people who are not Christians will not rejoice over God’s blessings to you. Remember that we have been promised that this world is going to hate us. I thoroughly believe that Satan and His demons, in their hatred and malice motivate hatred in godless people for the people of God. Why is it that all sorts of contradictory religions are endured quite nicely in America - while Christians are systematically being pushed out of the public square?
The Ten Commandments are now under attack again, and there is yet again another push to remove God from every sector of politics. This ought not to take us by surprise. There is nothing new to the recipe; God blesses his people and godless people hate it.
I wonder in part if that is what drove Satan’s rebellion. I’ve tried to understand what could make Lucifer- the most beautiful of all created beings - despise God and try to be like him? Maybe, just maybe Lucifer saw that God had chosen to bless the race of Humans and he began to hate that God had not chosen him.
I can’t say what motivates the hatred to be sure, but It’s clear enough that we are a hated people.
Again, look at Genesis 21:9: "Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, "Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac."
2. GOD SEES THE HATRED THIS WORLD HAS FOR US, and he will one day send it away from us, in order to bring us unscathed into His full inheritance.
God knows what evil is done to us; and he is eager to protect us - but there is also another motivation governing his Actions.
3. GOD’S DESIRE IS TO SAVE; NOT CONDEMN HUMANITY.
(Genesis 21:11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son.) As much as we desire to be whisked away from this world that Hates us and hates our God; God is in no hurry to destroy the world.
Abraham’s hesitancy is a reminder of God’s desire to save not condemn. We all know many situations where there is injustice, and from time to time I’m asked the question, "Why would God allow this horrible thing?" I don’t have the whole answer and I’m at a loss for words when I’m asked. I do know that part of the answer is that God is giving those who are doing evil things time to repent, even while they harm us.
Didn’t Jesus Himself display this for us when he prayed, "Father forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing?" What was happening when he prayed this? Was he being laughed at for his faith? Was he getting a door slammed in his face? Or was he experiencing rejection by someone who didn’t want to hear what he had to say? No, you know where he was, He was writhing in agony as they rammed iron spikes through his hands into a rough hewn wooden cross.
And in Luke 9 when a Samaritan village refused to offer Jesus hospitality on his way to Jerusalem, James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven on the city and turn it’s inhabitants into kingsford charcoal briquettes. Jesus "turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them." And they went on to another village."
Jesus knows what it’s like to receive a curse from others. Jesus has suffered injustice, just like some of us have. And when something happens to us we wonder, sometimes quietly and sometimes aloud, "Why?"
How could God allow the innocent to suffer at the hands of the wicked? Why does it seem that this world keeps getting worse and worse? Because it is indeed getting worse, and from our perspective the evil keep getting more and more evil. And all the while, though God hates the evil that he sees, he is patient with a divine patience.
God has every right to destroy all creation right now, there is no need to hear any more charges. The world stands condemned for not believing in the name of Jesus; but God is patient, waiting for the repentance and redemption of one more soul.