Summary: A study in the book of Genesis 16: 1 – 16
Genesis 16: 1 – 16
Giving in to pressure
16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. 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. 3 Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. 4 So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The LORD judge between you and me.” 6 So Abram said to Sarai, “Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please.” And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence. 7 Now the Angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” 9 The Angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” 10 Then the Angel of the LORD said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.” 11 And the Angel of the LORD said to her: “Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. you shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has heard your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” 13 Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered. 15 So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram
I want you to stop and think about yourselves for a moment before we proceed to look at today’s scripture. Can you think of a time in which you gave in to pressure? If you cannot quickly think of anything, then you are truly blessed. Now, how about the rest of us? What did you give into? Was it at work? Perhaps it was from friends? The worse is giving into to your spouse – because if it goes wrong you will take the blame for giving in. Am I right or what?
Abram in my opinion was riding an awesome life with God Almighty. I mean chapter after chapter God did amazing things through and for Abram. This is an experience I never want to cease. Just in our last chapter alone [chapter 15] our Holy and Awesome God made a covenant with Abram that informed him that his descendants would be greater than all the stars in the sky. The major impacting verses which is thrilling is, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
We will now see that Abram’s faith waivers and he gives into his wife’s request to not wait for God to fulfill His promise but to take things into their own hands to help God out. Remember the famous verse, ‘God helps those who help themselves.’ Well, this isn’t from the bible unless you now include Benjamin Franklin who was the one who said this statement.
Now in hindsight I want to list a few things that our brother Abram could have done to avoid giving in. Perhaps you can consider these points if you face a pressure request in the future.
1. Ask 101 questions. For example, if a person pressures you to do something you are cautious about doing just blitz this person with tons of questions. If you do so the other person will not want to openly admit that it is such a good idea. Abram could have asked Sarai a whole bunch of questions relative to this act including the possibility of intimacy, trusting God, asking if God can do miracles, etc.