BIBLE INSIGHTS in 500 words*
God’s Eyes of Love
Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.
Sarah Decides to Act. It had been 10 years since Abraham and Sarah rearranged their lives, left families, and followed God’s promise. Talk of the promised baby had continued for years. Eventually, people whisper and Sarah, no doubt, felt foolish, old, inadequate, and abandoned.
We feel foolish when we have been hoodwinked into believing a promise that never comes about. The saying goes like this “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Sarah was not going to be a fool.
Sarah turned to an accepted custom of her culture and time. Her servant, Hagar, could have a child with Abraham. The child would be considered Sarah’s baby. This is the first, but not the only time the custom was applied in Abraham’s family (Genesis 30). Abraham agreed, and soon Hagar was pregnant (Genesis 16:2-4). One could make a case that the child was actually Abraham’s seed, his own heir, as God had promised.
Then the word of the Lord came to him:
“. . . a son who is your own flesh and blood
will be your heir”
You could say that Abraham and Sarah worked out a way to fulfill God’s promise. The result of the alternative plan was a pregnancy in the house of Abraham. It looked like things were moving forward at last. Here is a lesson to consider: Taking over for God may make things better for a while.
Life grows complicated. Sarah’s strategy was not an issue of morality, but it did result in complications. Hagar’s attitude became haughty. Sarah felt belittled. And, Abraham’s life was miserable. Sarah would have none of it.
Sarah blamed Abraham. In this telling insight into Sarah’s character, she declared that her plan was Abraham’s blunder.
This is all your fault. I allowed my servant girl to be intimate with you, and as soon as she saw she was pregnant with your child, she started behaving arrogantly and disrespectfully toward me! I have done nothing to deserve this. Let the Eternal One judge who is in the wrong here—you or me (Genesis 16:5, The Voice)!
Calling down the judgment of God quickly drove Abraham out of the “peacemaker” business between the two women. He let Sarah do what ever she wanted with her servant. Sarah mistreated Hagar with passion and cruelty. The young woman, carrying the child in her womb, ran away.
God sees in love. God’s When do our decisions complicate God’s plan for our lives? Did Sarah’s alternative strategy further delay God’s plan to send the promised baby? We don’t know. We do know that God stepped into the complication with a loving eye (Genesis 16:8-12).
- God loved Hagar’s child.
- God rescued Hagar in the desert.
- God promised greatness for Hagar’s baby.
- God brought Hagar back to Abraham’s care
Hagar gave the Lord a name: “You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). That’s a promise you can hold when you are abandonded.
*Most people read 200 words per minute; this article is 498 words.