Summary: This message focuses on the stories of Hagar and the woman who stood before King Solomon.
Mother's Day Message 2015
If You Had A Mother Who....
I have delivered several Mother's Day messages through the years and what I have come to realize is that no matter how much I say about a good mother it does not seem to fully do them justice. I cannot tell you anything new about a good mother as we have good mothers in this congregation - so you know them by their example. But I can give you a gentle reminder as sometimes we can take them for granted because we are accustomed to them being so good. Many of us have currently or have had good mothers or “good mother figures” who, although not perfect, loved us enough to help us become who we are today. Many of you who are hearing or reading this message are good mothers and I thank God for you even though some of you I have never met personally. This morning as you listen to this message, if you had a good mother or mother figure that cared enough about you to help you be who you are today bless them and give God the praise! Tell Him hallelujah for the woman who influenced your life! The title of my message today is "If You Had A Mother Who..." and you can complete the sentence.
I want to share with you the stories of two unlikely mothers who share some traits with good mothers today. I want to start with Hagar, who was the slave of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Turn with me to Genesis chapter 16.
I. Hagar Becomes An Unwilling Mother
Genesis 16:1-6 says, “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, ‘Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children through her.’ And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. He went in to Hagar and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. And Sarai said to Abram, ‘May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the Lord judge between you and me.’ But Abram said to Sarai, ‘Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.’ So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence.” (Genesis 16:1-6)
Hagar was a servant/slave of Sarai (Sarah), Abram’s (Abraham) wife. She served Sarai faithfully, so faithful was she that when Sarai could not have children she gave Hagar to Abram to bear a child for her. In this transaction Hagar became Abram’s concubine which carried more importance than just being a slave/servant. A concubine was a female slave designated as bearing children. They did have a certain status above the normal slaves though. Some were listed among family members and sons of concubines could also be equals in inheritance and succession and thus a threat to the sons of wives. Although they may have had other responsibilities their primary job was to bear children of the man they were given to. We need to understand that Hagar was a slave and had no choice in the matter. When Sarah offered her to her husband, Hagar did not have the right to say no, she had to obey. She allowed herself to become the 2nd wife of Abram to bear children to him on behalf of Sarai. Can you imagine how she felt? This was the custom of the time, but she was still a woman serving as a surrogate for someone else without a choice.
Now the Bible tells us that when Hagar found that she was pregnant, her attitude changed towards Sarai. It could be said that maybe her attitude changed because she was forced to do something that Sarai herself could not do and succeeded. When Hagar’s attitude changed towards Sarai, Sarai noticed and went and complained to Abram. She actually blamed Abram for the situation although it was her idea. Now notice what Abram said to her in verse six: “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.” Although Hagar had been given to Abram to be his concubine, she was still viewed as being the slave of Sarai. Sarai appears to have revoked Hagar’s “concubine” status after she became pregnant. Sarai began to treat Hagar harshly to the point that Hagar ran away. When you read the rest of the chapter you will find that an angel of the Lord found her and told her to return to Sarai and submit to her. He also told her that she would have many descendants and she was to name her son Ishmael. Hagar returned to Sarai and she bore Abram a son and named him Ishmael.