Sermons

Summary: The story of Hagar leaving Abram and Sarai and meeting an angel in the desert

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Introduction

Deserts are defined as land regions that receive less than 10 inches of rain per year...

They typically have little to no vegetation or plant life...

and very few animals are able to live there...

for people who live in the desert...

it is a harsh life...

largely centered on where they can find water...

people can die in the desert...

the extreme temperatures...

and the lack of water...

can be deadly...

20% of the earth’s surface is considered desert...

that might seem high...

but, because Antarctica is considered a desert by definition...

although it’s very cold...

not hot at all...

it meets the definition because of the lack of precipitation...

In my studies, I counted 69 deserts in the world...

Next to Antarctica...

The Sahara desert is the next largest...

here in North America, we have 4 deserts...

including the Mojave Desert and Sonora Desert...

Living here in Florida...

it might seem strange to talk about deserts...

we live in an area of high rainfall...

on the east coast...

our nearest deserts are on the west coast...

but my purpose in talking about deserts...

is more than just physical deserts...

sometimes we find ourselves in a desert spiritually speaking...

we might feel that our relationship with the Lord is a little dry...

not much rainfall of late...

and yet, even in the desert...

we can find that God is still with us...

and if we can tune our hearts to what God is saying to us...

it can be a time of great spiritual growth...

In my study of Scripture...

I found several people in the Bible who found themselves quite literally...

in a real physical desert...

and in each case...

God could be found there...

It is my hope...

to look at some of these people who found themselves in a literal desert...

but they also found themselves in a spiritual desert...

and we will look at how God met with them there...

at their point of need...

And also to look at ourselves...

and see if we might also be in a similar desert to these people in the Bible...

Not the literal desert...

but the spiritual desert that they were in...

Most of you know that Lent started last Wednesday...

Lent is the 40 days of time from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday...

Not counting the Sundays...

Lent is a time of spiritual reflection and introspection...

it is a time to focus upon Jesus Christ and His life...

with an eye toward that great celebration of the Church...Easter Sunday...

Lent is a time of prayer and fasting...

often someone might “give up something for Lent”...

They might fast a meal...

or they might go a whole day without food...

or they might give up soft drinks...

chocolate...

or TV or facebook or video games...

something that has a hold on them...

and for 40 days, we use that time when we WOULD be eating that meal...

or watching TV...

and we focus upon Jesus in prayer, fasting and Bible reading...

The reason Sundays aren’t included in the 40 days leading up to Easter...

is because ever since Jesus rose on Sunday...

Every Sunday since has been a celebration...

and a reminder that Jesus is risen!!

Before the resurrection, Saturday was their Sabbath...

and some religions still hold to the Saturday Sabbath...

But since the resurrection...

those early disciples started meeting on Sundays...

to worship the living Christ...

and we have done it every since!!

The 40 days of Lent correlate to the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying and being tempted...

just before He embarked on His public ministry...

As a part of this Lenten journey...

we identify with Christ and His time spent in the desert...

Today is the 1st Sunday since Lent began last Wednesday...

As we join Christ in the desert during Lent...

Let us look at some of these Biblical deserts...

Today, let’s look at the desert that Hagar found herself in...

Read Scripture: Genesis 16:1-16

The Story

Now, you probably remember the story of Abraham and Sarah...

they were unable to have children...

but God promised that they would become a great nation...

and their descendants would be as numerous as the stars...

however, Abraham and Sarah were getting up there in years...

and Sarah...bless her heart...

thought she would help God out...

It was their custom that a childless wife would provide a maidservant to her husband in order to bear a child...

but the child would be considered hers...and not the maidservants...

Sarah had a maidservant from Egypt named Hagar...

She offered her to Abraham to become his wife...

And she became pregnant...

When she got pregnant...

she started pulling attitude toward Sarah...

here...a woman who was a maidservant...

was rubbing it in Sarah’s face...

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