Summary: When we take action or make a decision but neglect the power of God, we are actually revealing our lack of faith.
Getting ahead of God will bring troubles!
If I asked the question, do you believe in an all powerful God? Many of us will raise our hands, wouldn’t we?
But if I asked, do you always take action and make decisions based on your belief in an all powerful God? Not too many of us will raise our hands, would we?
Saying we believe in an all powerful God is really meaningless isn’t it if we don’t actually take action with that belief! Saying something but not taking action based on that statement is just lipservice.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” The rest of Hebrews 11 tells us about faithful men and women who took action because of their faith. You see, faith means taking action in what you believe.
When we take action or make a decision but neglect the power of God, we are actually revealing our lack of faith. Faith can move mountains.
A lack of faith will bring troubles.
This is what happened to husband and wife, Abram and Sarai. Please open your Bibles to Genesis 16, page……
I’ve asked Peg Hamby to read for us this morning.
As Peg comes forward, let us pray our
commitment to God’s Word (slide) ……………..
Turn back briefly with me to Genesis 11:30……….
And in Genesis 12:1-2, we read……and v4……
Abram was 75 years old when he moved to Canaan and God promised him a great nation. According to Genesis 17, Sarai was 10 years younger than Abram. Genesis 16:3 tells us than Abram and Sarai have been in Canaan for 10 years when Hagar was given to Abram.
Here’s the question for all of you who were actually listening to the time spans; How old was Sarai when she decided she will never have a child of her own??
Sarai was 75 years old when she decided that she will never have a child of her own.
Here’s an easier question; How long did Sarai wait on God until she gave up on God??
God’s promise of a great nation through Abram and Sarai was given when they moved to Canaan. After 10 years of waiting, Sarai gave up on God and decided to take action with her own wisdom.
Waiting 10 years is a long time.
Can we blame Sarai for giving up on God?
Let’s ask this question, while in Canaan, was God really silent or did God assured Abram and Sarai of His commitment to them?
For 10 years God provided for, protected, and made Abram and Sarai prosper! God had been faithful!
Sarai and Abraham had many affirmations that God would complete His promises to them. Sarai neglected God’s power to be able to accomplish what seems to be the impossible! Sarai lacked faith in God when she gave in to her own wisdom. Look again at v2…… Sarai actually blamed God for her infertility.
Sarai was aggressive but neglected the power of God. What about Abram? Abram should have known better. God spoke directly to Abram with a promise. But what did Abram do with Sarai’s “worldly” idea? Sarai was aggressive; Abram was passive; and both had the problem of neglecting God’s power!
And what resulted from their lack of faith? Sarai’s and Abram’s lack of faith resulted in much trouble!
Hagar created trouble for Sarai by despising her; in other words, Hagar belittled her master and Sarai was deeply hurt. The marriage of Abram and Sarai was strained! Sarai blamed her husband. Abram couldn’t handle the problem and gave it back to his wife. Sarai actually beat up Hagar who served her diligently for 10 years! Pregnant Hagar runs away with nothing, to the desert! What a mess!! Sounds like a soap opera!
Did God cause all the problems?? Absolutely not!
Sarai, Abram, and Hagar brought trouble to themselves with their lack of faith in a powerful God! God reminded Abram and Sarai in Genesis 18:14, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Now, did God just leave Sarai, Abram, and Hagar with their troubles? What did God do?
God never gave up on Abram and Sarai!
In Genesis 17-18, God completed His promise to Abram and Sarai. We will discuss this in more detail in future messages.
But here in Genesis 16:7-12, God loved Hagar!
God sought Hagar, found her, and spoke to her.
God instructed her and gave her a promise of blessing!
Look again at v10………..
God gave the same blessing to Hagar as He did to Abram and Sarai! Who are some of the riches people in the world today? The Arabian people hold much of the world’s wealth through oil! Why, because God promised a blessing to Hagar’s son Ishmael, the father of the Arab nation! Is the God of the Bible believable and trustworthy? Just look at history and what we have in the present!! Much of the Bible were written thousands of years ago, but predicted what we have today!