Summary: Hagar & Ishmael. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:


A man opened a new business and his best friend sent him a floral arrangement:

• When the friend popped in to see him a few days later;

• He was shocked to see that the shop had sent a card saying; “Rest in peace”.

• When he called the florist to complain.

• The florist said; “It could be worse.

• Somewhere in the city is an arrangement in a cemetery that reads;

• “Congratulations on your new location”.

• Mistakes of course, are part of life;

• Even the so-called greats have made them!


• In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene II,

• Caesar asks Brutus, "What is’t o’clock?" Brutus replies, "Caesar, ’its strucken eight."

• The great Bard had forgotten that mechanical clocks;

• Were not invented until 14 centuries after Caesar’s death.

• Mistakes of course, are part of life;

• And we will see in to days passage Abraham & Sarah are about to make one big one!

Genesis 16 records a painful detour that Abraham and Sarah made in their walk with God:

• A detour that not only brought conflict into their home, but also into the world.

• What today’s journalists call "the Arab-Israeli conflict" began right here in this chapter!

• But this account is much more than ancient history with modern consequences.

• It’s a good lesson for God’s people about walking by “faith and not by sight”

• This chapter it’s a good lesson for us to learn;

• Concerning waiting for God to fulfil His promises.

• If we are honest many of us want ‘God’s will done our way’.

• Or we want God’s will done when we want rather than when he wants!


• There had never been any argument about it;

• Fred was the wisest and shrewdest man in town.

One day a young lad in the community questioned him about it.

• “Fred, what is it that makes you so wise?” he asked;

• Fred replied: “Good judgement, I’d say it was my good judgement”

• The boy replied: “And where did you get your good judgement?”

• Fred said; “That I got from experience”.

• “Where did you get your experience?” asked the boy.

• Fred replied: “From my bad judgement!”

Genesis chapter 16 contains a classic case of bad judgement:

• We will see how dangerous it is to depend on our own wisdom.

• And how nescercery it is, to depend and wait on God, his timing & wisdom.

(1). Waiting (verse 1a):

“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children.

But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar;”

• In this chapter Abram was now eighty-five years old.

• For the last ten years Abram has been walking with the Lord;

• And during this time he had learned some valuable lessons about faith.

• But like many of us he too often wanted God’s will done his way!

If you know the story of Abram:

• Then you know God had promised Abram and his wife Sarai a child;

• But God had not told them when the child would be born.

• For Abram & Sarai it was going to be a long period of waiting,

• And most of us don’t like to wait.

One of the hard lessons we have to learn as Christians is:

• God is never in a hurry, he is never panicked; he is always just on time;

• He has a perfect timetable for all that He wants to do.

Quote: saying:

“Patience is a virtue,

Possess it if you can.

Found seldom in a woman,

Never in a man.”

• That might be true in a general sense;

• But it was not true for Abram’s wife Sarai.

• Sarai grew more and more impatient as she waited for something to happen.

• For God to keep his promise to Abraham and produce a child.

• She knew that each new day was a painful reminder;

• That she was physically well past the age to conceive naturally a child.

• What she did not know was this was all part of God’s plan;

• Ill: Hebrews chapter 11 verse 12 tells us that:

• God actually wanted Abram and Sarai to be physically past it!

• Waiting for their bodies to be "As good as dead".

• The reason being that this event was not going to be just the birth of yet another baby:

• It was an essential part of a bigger plan; God’s plan of salvation for the whole world.


Quote: G. Campbell Morgan:

“Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort.

Waiting for God means, first, activity under command;

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