Sermons

Summary: Verse by verse study of Genesis 16

Genesis 16

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 18, 2007

Introduction

God has made promises to Abram. In Gen. 12:2, God promised to make Abram a “great nation”. We saw last week in Gen. 15:4 that God promised that “one will come from your own body” and that Abram would have so many descendants that they would be like the stars in heaven.

So what do you do when you think you have an idea of what God wants for you, but it hasn’t happened yet?

Do you keep waiting? Do you take matters into your own hand? Just how long do you keep waiting for God to do something?

Abram’s been waiting for ten years since God promised.

:1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar.

If Abram and Sarai were from Ur (modern Iraq), then where did Sarai get an Egyptian maidservant?

She got her on their trip to Egypt. This was the trip that brought so much trouble when Abram insisted on telling everyone that Sarai was his sister.

:2 So Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her." And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.

This is the first instance of a “righteous” man breaking God’s pattern for marriage.

Jesus taught on marriage in Matthew 19 and used Adam and Eve as a pattern God originally intended all marriages to be like.

Jesus’ point was to prove that God intended marriage to be permanent – “What God has joined together, don’t let any man tear apart”.

The pattern of the first marriage was also one of monogamy – one man and one woman.

There have been other instances of men having multiple wives, but they weren’t the “good” guys.

Abram’s son Isaac will stay monogamous, but his grandson Jacob will have four wives.

There are cults that will look at these patriarchs and say that they are the pattern for marriage. Joseph Smith leaned heavily on the example of Abraham and Jacob when he brought polygamy into Mormonism.

I shall obtain children by her – the custom of the day allowed for a childless woman to do exactly what Sarai is doing. According to custom, if the child is accepted by Abram, this son could be considered Sarai’s child. The problem is, God doesn’t always follow man’s customs.

God had promised that Abram would have an heir “from his own body” (Gen. 15:4). Technically, having a child through Hagar would qualify, right???

I don’t want to be crude and give you the impression that all men think about is sex, but here is Abram being told by his seventy-five year old wife to have sex with this younger woman. I think that for some guys, this doesn’t sound like a difficult decision. It doesn’t seem that Abram took too long to think about his answer.

Abram heeded the voice of Sarai – Some fellows look at the trouble that’s going to result from this decision, and they will say that this is why a man shouldn’t pay any attention to what his wife says. That’s not the real lesson. Yet later on, God will tell Abram to pay attention to what his wife says (Gen. 21:12).

This is a lesson of not letting your wife be an excuse for not following God.

Lesson

Who runs your life?

There is a place for listening to the advice that people give us.

But nothing gets us off the hook of paying attention to what God tells us to do.

No one should be our excuse for doing the right thing.

Illustration

There was a prophet who didn’t do what God told him …

A young man from Judah was given a message from God to deliver to the king in the north. With this message, God gave specific instructions about how to travel, who to talk to, and where to stop. God’s instructions were very clear. The young man was to travel north on one road and come home by another road. He wasn’t supposed to stop and talk to anyone else, he wasn’t supposed to stop for a bite to eat, he was just supposed to give his message and get out. But after giving the king the message, another “prophet” wanted to spend some time with the young man…

(1 Ki 13:15-19 NKJV) Then he said to him, "Come home with me and eat bread." {16} And he said, "I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place. {17} "For I have been told by the word of the LORD, ’You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.’" {18} He said to him, "I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ’Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’ " (He was lying to him.) {19} So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.

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