Summary: Why are we impatient with God?
A. WHY ARE WE IMPATIENT WITH GOD?
1. We think we know better.
2. We think time is running out.
4. We lose sight of what God is doing.
B. ABRAM RUNS AHEAD OF GOD
“Ten years after Abram arrived in the Promised Land he still didn’t have children. Sarai said, ‘God hasn’t given me children, so you sleep with Hagar my Egyptian maid, and I will have a child by her.’ Abram agreed. So Abram slept with Hagar and she became pregnant. Then Hagar treated Sarai with contempt. Then Sarai blamed Abram, ‘It’s all your fault; now Hagar despises me; even though I gave her the privilege of bearing your child. The Lord is punishing me for doing this.’ Abram said, ‘Hagar is your servant, do what you have to do.’ So Sarai treated Hagar harshly and she ran away” (Gen. 16:1-6).
1. Ten years is a long time when you are 75 years old. We would probably be anxious to do something.
2. Why do we blame God when things don’t go our way? We deny, “All things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28).
3. God had promised Abram that he would have a child, but not Sarai. So their plan seemed sensible.
4. It was the custom for slaves to have children for their masters. However, that doesn’t make it right.
5. God will honor His original plan of one man for one woman for one marriage. “The Lord God . . . made the woman and brought her unto the man . . . this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:22-23).
6. You can’t reach a godly goal by fleshly means.
7. Sarai might have said, “God helps those who help themselves.” Faith is walking with God, not running ahead of Him.
8. “Hagar, an Egyptian” (16:1). Another thing Abram got when he sinned and was out of God’s will in Egypt.
9. A wife can give bad advice. “Abram harkened to the voice of Sarai” (16:2).
10. Who got cranky? “Her mistress was despised in her eyes” (16:4).
11. Sarai’s idea, but in the end she blamed Abram. “My wrong be upon thee” (16:5).
12. Sarai wouldn’t take responsibility, “The Lord judge between me and thee” (16:5).
13. They both have a problem and Abram won’t take responsibility, “Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please” (16:6).
C. HAGAR AND THE LORD – GEN. 16:7-15
“Hagar ran away. The angel of the Lord found her by a spring on the road to Egypt. ‘Hagar,’ he called, “where are you going?” She answered, ‘I’m running away.’ The angel told her to go back and submit to Sarai. He then promised, ‘You will have more descendants than you can count.’ He instructed, ‘You are pregnant; call your son Ishmael – a wild donkey.’ He will fight everyone, and they will fight him.’ Hagar called the Lord, ‘Thou God sees me,’ because she claimed to have seen the Lord who saw her. The well was named for God, Beer-lahairo: she gave birth to Ishmael and Abram was 86 years old” (Gen. 16: 6-16).
1. God usually comes with a question.
2. God knows our name when we are in trouble, “The angel of the Lord called her Hagar” (v. 8).
3. The name Hagar means “Flight,” she was flighty. Our names reflect our character.
4. Two commands. “Return . . . and submit” (16:9). Get back to Sarai and get her under authority.
5. The promise of a constant irritant to the Jews. Most scholars trace the Palestinians to Ishmael.
6. Ishmael’s name reflected his nature.
7. Palestinians are today’s Ismael, “He shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren” (16:12). Jews can’t get rid of the Palestinians.
8. Hagar thought she might die. “Have I . . . looked after him that seeth me?” (16:13).
9. Culturally Egyptians gave names to their gods. “Thou God seest me” (16:13).
10. Abram adopted Ishmael as his own by naming him. “Abram called his son’s name . . . Ishmael” (16:15).
11. A minor mess up – impatience – led to a massive problem – wrong child – which led to eternal consequences.
D. WHAT WOULD GOD TELL YOU TODAY?
1. Learn patience. “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:4).
2. God sends trials to teach patience. “The trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:3).
3. Thank God for trials. “Count it all joy when you have various tests” (James 1:2, ELT).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart: