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Summary: Does God only care about those in the limelight, the Sarahs? Or does he also care about the "second bests," the Hagars?

The Average One: God Uses "Seconds"

(Gen.21:1-21)

1. I love bargains....

2. Alden’s Christmas tree (1972)--$10; HobbyLobby--$30 (1998) 7.5ft

3. Other bargains are seconds...our first kitchen table...

4. Sometimes people feel like "seconds" (unfavorite child, single, after a

divorce, child out of wedlock, a disability, age, never being the best at

something...)

5. Though God is just, life is unfair...

Question: Is God only the God of the beautiful, the famous, or the

best? Is there any room in God’s plans for the "seconds?" The life of

Hagar answers these questions.

I. Hagar’s Background

1. An Egyptian, a slave

2. Sarah acquired her...

3. Middle Eastern marriage contracts...

4. Sarah now 76, Abraham 86.....Ishmael is begotten...

5. Hagar now feels important.....but Sarah treats her harshly...

6. Changing times: God promised an heir through Sarah...she’s 90,

Abraham is 100 when Isaac is born...

II. The Conflict Between Hagar and Sarah

1. Isaac now two, weaned....big party....Ishmael, now 13, makes fun of

him.....

2. Sarah---send Hagar and Ishmael away...

(1) how callous---Ishmael was supposed to be "her" son...

(2) how could she expect Abraham to comply?---he seems as

though he won’t....Ishmael not the son of promise, but still his son!

3. God instructs Abraham to do what Sarah wants! Surprise...

(1) Isaac is the center of his plans (opposite of Koran)

(2) God would bless Ishmael and make a great nation of him, too

4. Abraham sends Hagar & Ishmael into the desert with some food and

water...

(1)Could you imagine the emotions? Did Abraham share with

them what God had told him? I would have...would they believe?

(2) Law of the land: Hagar would now be free...

(3) Hagar is now a single parent.....

(4) water runs out....waits for Ishmael to die, weeping

5. Talk about having your bubble burst; the women who had given the

great man, Abraham, his only son, for a while, was now a nobody, as was

her son, so it seemed....

III. The Grace of God (21:17-21)

1. A much needed Word from God...

(1) God has heard...(vs. 17)...how easy it is to doubt that!

---you call a business because you have a

question...hold...menus...voice mail...have you been heard?

---So nice when you can speak to a genuine person! (17)

(2) God has a plan (18)--not the same plan for everyone, but a

plan nonetheless...

---you don’t have to sing like Enrico Carusso, cook like Julia

Child, or play basketball like Michael Jordan....there is plenty of

room on the lesser tiers...

2. Provision from God

(1) Great plans mean little if you don’t live to fulfill them...

(2) God "opened her eyes...."---He had lead her there, though it

may have seemed to her as aimless wandering....

(3) Some of the neatest things God has done for me came from

what seemed random....(500 girls at Moody, I met Marylu in

Norman’s basement)

3. A different but meaningful kind of life...

(1) Ishmael, an archer...

(2) As a free woman, Hagar could get him a wife from her people

(3) She serves as a model for all single moms....strong, responsible

and took the initiative often reserved for men...


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