Grace From the Start: Day 5 {Nov. 29th}

God keeps his promise to Abram that he will be a ‘great nation’ but for Abram to be a great nation he is going to need at least one kid.  It takes a LONG time for this child God promised to show up.  (Sounds familiar to this season of Advent and waiting…)

God has made his promise.  Abram and Sarai will have a son and as we know from the prior stories God will be the one who keeps his promise and makes his promise happen.  He is going to use Abram and Sarai but it is going to be out of their hands.  God is showing the world that this child is because of Him by giving the child to a man and a woman who have been barren and are well past childbearing years.

As time slips by Sarai, in her insecurity, decides to take matters into her own hands.  She tells her husband to go and have sex with her servant, Hagar.  So he listens to her and does We can already see this is a bad idea.  How often do we decide we need to take maters into our own hands?  Sarai and we have some things in common.  We have a powerful God.  We struggle with wanting to control and be the masters of our own lives.

Sarai begins to see the result of Hagar spending the evening with her husband (which she commanded) and begins to treat Hagar poorly.  ‘Begins to treat Hagar poorly’ may be an understatement.  Things get so bad with Sarai that Hagar runs into the wilderness, pregnant, and with nothing.

This isn’t the only time Sarai treats Hagar so poorly she ends up in the wilderness alone and without hope.  The second time is after the child God promised Abram and Sarai arrives.  Sarai tells Abram that he must send Hagar and her child away.  Abram does as Sarai instructs but God promises Abram that he will watch over and protect Hagar and her child.

In the wilderness, without water, hopeless, and about to die God meets her.  Each time God goes to her in the wilderness and saves her.

Genesis 21:8-21 shows us how God treated Hagar the second time she found herself alone, hopeless, and in the wilderness.

 

And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.  But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing.  So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.”  And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son.  But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named.  And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.”  So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes.  Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.  And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.  Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”  Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow.  He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

{Genesis 21:8-21}

This encounter Hagar has with God and when Jesus seeks the Samaritan woman at the well have beautiful similarities. {The story of Jesus and the woman at the well can be found in John chapter 4 verses 1-45 it is worth your while to go give it a read.}

Jesus came to the well to meet this woman.  Just as He knew that Hagar was in a desperate situation He also knew that this woman was also.  Before the woman at the well could tell her story Jesus told it to her.  Just as God provided for Hagar he provided living water to this woman at the well.  Jesus shows us in each of these accounts that he sees, knows, and provides for us.

Isaac is the son that God will bring about the great nation and Jesus.  Abraham (God changes Abrams name to Abraham) does as Sarah (God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah) told him to.  He sends Hagar away.  Abraham provides a skin of water and some bread.  Hagar and her son wandered into the wilderness.  Hagar can not bear to watch her son die so she places him away from herself.  God hears the boy crying.  Let me type that out again God hears the boy crying.  He reaches out to Hagar.  He promises he will be with the two of them in the wilderness.  He provides them with life giving water.  He saved them from a hopeless situation.

In both the story of Hagar and the woman at the well Jesus shows us who He is.  Jesus came to the well to meet this woman.  Just as He knew that Hagar was in a desperate situation He also knew that this woman was also.  Before the woman at the well could tell her story Jesus told it to her.  Just as God provided for Hagar he provided living water to this woman at the well.  Jesus shows us in each of these accounts that he sees, knows, and provides for us.

We are all Hagar and the woman at the well.  We are wandering in the wilderness of our lives, alone.  We have failed relationships in our past.  We are hopeless on our own.    God sees us, knows us, provides for our needs, and gives us hope.  He redeems us from whatever desperate and seemingly hopeless situation we find ourselves in.

day 5 summary

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