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Summary: Women’s Conference message

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Pain – A feeling of being hurt, suffering to have a bad effect on do damage or harm to

Power – great ability to do or act, authority, influence, control, strength or force over something or someone

Abandoned – Give-up entirely leave without intending to return

Rejected – Throw away as useless or unsatisfactory

Introduction

She was a young slave from Egypt who found herself in the midst of a foreign nomad people. She was given a new name Hagar (A stranger, one that fears) and a position as maidservant to Sarai, Abrams wife.

Sarai probably felt emotionally abandoned and socially scorned because she had not given birth to the son God had promised (Genesis 15: 2-6) In accordance with the custom of that time Sarai decided and convinced Abram to use Hagar as a surrogate concubine.

It seemed odd that Sarai would choose a woman who was not of her own cultural background and faith. Perhaps Hagar was special to Sarai, and her slave status prevented refusal.

Hagar’s temperament changed during pregnancy. She became insolent and arrogant toward Sarai with Abrams permission Sarai cruelly reprimanded Hagar. Because of Sarai’s mistreatment Hagar ran into the desert where she met an Angel of God. He told her to return to Sarai and give birth to Abrams son, Ishmael who would become the father of a nation. Hagar obeyed returned filled with hope and gave birth to a son. She was amazed that the living God took notice of her.

In God’s time and by God’s grace the promised son Isaac was born. Sarah (whose name was changed by God before Isaac’s birth) saw Hagar’s child as a treat to Isaac’s position as heir, so she implored Abraham to expel them (Genesis 21:9-14)

Hagar and Ishmael (God that hears) were sent into the desert with a small supply of bread and water. When the water ran out Hagar sat apart from her son so not to witness his death. Again the Angel of the Lord appeared to reassure her of God’s plan for her and Ishmael, he also revealed a well of drinking water. Hagar and Ishmael were rejected and abandoned by Abraham’s household; they became nameless out cast, discarded by those who once cared for them. This mother and her son persevered through theses trails because of their faith in God who had appeared to them in the wilderness. Hagar and Ishmael’s story illustrates God’s deep concern for all who have been discarded and rejected. Regardless or our circumstance social status, no matter how many times you have been beaten, battered and rejected by life, God can and will turn your pain into power.

Sermon Points

1) God’s promise of a child had been given 2 years before, nothing had happened. Sometimes the hardest part of surrendering to God is the waiting. Genesis 16:1

2) You don’t have to be a slave to past or present situations

Ephesians 2:1-2 And you have he quicken who were dead to the cause of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,

3) God is able to restore a sense of self worth even in trying times.

Isaiah 55:8-9, I Peter 2:9, Psalms 8:4-5

4) God is intimely involved in our grief

Isaiah 53:3-4 (NIV) He was despised and rejected by men a man of sorrow, familiar with suffering.


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