16 1 וְשָׂרַי֙ אֵ֣שֶׁת אַבְרָ֔ם לֹ֥א יָלְדָ֖ה ל֑וֹ וְלָ֛הּ שִׁפְחָ֥ה מִצְרִ֖ית וּשְׁמָ֥הּ הָגָֽר ׃ 2 וַתֹּ֨אמֶר שָׂרַ֜י אֶל ־ אַבְרָ֗ם הִנֵּה ־ נָ֞א עֲצָרַ֤נִי יְהוָה֙ מִלֶּ֔דֶת בֹּא ־ נָא֙ אֶל ־ שִׁפְחָתִ֔י אוּלַ֥י אִבָּנֶ֖ה מִמֶּ֑נָּה 1 וַיִּשְׁמַ֥ע אַבְרָ֖ם לְק֥וֹל שָׂרָֽי ׃ 3 וַתִּקַּ֞ח שָׂרַ֣י אֵֽשֶׁת ־ אַבְרָ֗ם אֶת ־ הָגָ֤ר הַמִּצְרִית֙ שִׁפְחָתָ֔הּ מִקֵּץ֙ עֶ֣שֶׂר שָׁנִ֔ים לְשֶׁ֥בֶת אַבְרָ֖ם בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וַתִּתֵּ֥ן אֹתָ֛הּ לְאַבְרָ֥ם אִישָׁ֖הּ ל֥וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה ׃ 4 וַיָּבֹ֥א אֶל ־ הָגָ֖ר וַתַּ֑הַר וַתֵּ֙רֶא֙ כִּ֣י הָרָ֔תָה וַתֵּקַ֥ל גְּבִרְתָּ֖הּ בְּעֵינֶֽיהָ ׃ 5 וַתֹּ֨אמֶר שָׂרַ֣י אֶל ־ אַבְרָם֮ חֲמָסִ֣י עָלֶיךָ֒ אָנֹכִ֗י נָתַ֤תִּי שִׁפְחָתִי֙ בְּחֵיקֶ֔ךָ וַתֵּ֙רֶא֙ כִּ֣י הָרָ֔תָה וָאֵקַ֖ל בְּעֵינֶ֑יהָ יִשְׁפֹּ֥ט יְהוָ֖ה בֵּינִ֥י וּבֵינֶֽיׄךָ 1 ׃ 6 וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אַבְרָ֜ם אֶל ־ שָׂרַ֗י הִנֵּ֤ה שִׁפְחָתֵךְ֙ בְּיָדֵ֔ךְ עֲשִׂי ־ לָ֖הּ הַטּ֣וֹב בְּעֵינָ֑יִךְ וַתְּעַנֶּ֣הָ שָׂרַ֔י וַתִּבְרַ֖ח מִפָּנֶֽיהָ ׃ 7 וַֽיִּמְצָאָ֞הּ מַלְאַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה עַל ־ עֵ֥ין הַמַּ֖יִם בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר עַל ־ הָעַ֖יִן בְּדֶ֥רֶךְ שֽׁוּר ׃ 8 וַיֹּאמַ֗ר הָגָ֞ר שִׁפְחַ֥ת שָׂרַ֛י אֵֽי ־ מִזֶּ֥ה בָ֖את וְאָ֣נָה תֵלֵ֑כִי וַתֹּ֕אמֶר מִפְּנֵי֙ שָׂרַ֣י גְּבִרְתִּ֔י אָנֹכִ֖י בֹּרַֽחַת ׃ 9 וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לָהּ֙ מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהוָ֔ה שׁ֖וּבִי אֶל ־ גְּבִרְתֵּ֑ךְ וְהִתְעַנִּ֖י תַּ֥חַת יָדֶֽיהָ ׃ 10 וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לָהּ֙ מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהוָ֔ה הַרְבָּ֥ה אַרְבֶּ֖ה אֶת ־ זַרְעֵ֑ךְ וְלֹ֥א יִסָּפֵ֖ר מֵרֹֽב ׃ 11 וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לָהּ֙ מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהוָ֔ה הִנָּ֥ךְ הָרָ֖ה וְיֹלַ֣דְתְּ בֵּ֑ן וְקָרָ֤את שְׁמוֹ֙ יִשְׁמָעֵ֔אל כִּֽי ־ שָׁמַ֥ע יְהוָ֖ה אֶל ־ עָנְיֵֽךְ ׃ 12 וְה֤וּא יִהְיֶה֙ פֶּ֣רֶא אָדָ֔ם יָד֣וֹ בַכֹּ֔ל וְיַ֥ד כֹּ֖ל בּ֑וֹ וְעַל ־ פְּנֵ֥י כָל ־ אֶחָ֖יו יִשְׁכֹּֽן ׃ 13 וַתִּקְרָ֤א שֵׁם ־ יְהוָה֙ הַדֹּבֵ֣ר אֵלֶ֔יהָ אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל רֳאִ֑י כִּ֣י אָֽמְרָ֗ה הֲגַ֥ם הֲלֹ֛ם רָאִ֖יתִי אַחֲרֵ֥י רֹאִֽי ׃ 14 עַל ־ כֵּן֙ קָרָ֣א לַבְּאֵ֔ר בְּאֵ֥ר לַחַ֖י רֹאִ֑י הִנֵּ֥ה בֵין ־ קָדֵ֖שׁ וּבֵ֥ין בָּֽרֶד ׃ 15 וַתֵּ֧לֶד הָגָ֛ר לְאַבְרָ֖ם בֵּ֑ן וַיִּקְרָ֨א אַבְרָ֧ם שֶׁם ־ בְּנ֛וֹ אֲשֶׁר ־ יָלְדָ֥ה הָגָ֖ר יִשְׁמָעֵֽאל ׃ 16 וְאַבְרָ֕ם בֶּן ־ שְׁמֹנִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וְשֵׁ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֑ים בְּלֶֽדֶת ־ הָגָ֥ר אֶת ־ יִשְׁמָעֵ֖אל לְאַבְרָֽם ׃ ס
Sarai and Hagar 16 1 a Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was b Hagar. 2 And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children 1 by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 So, after Abram c had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. 4 And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, d she looked with contempt on her mistress. 1 5 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May e the Lord judge between you and me!” 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her. 7 The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to f Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” 9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, g “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, 1 h because the Lord has listened to your affliction. 12 He shall be i a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell j over against all his kinsmen.” 13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” 1 for she said, k “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” 2 14 Therefore the well was called l Beer-lahai-roi; 1 it lies between m Kadesh and Bered. 15 And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
Abram and Sarai have a big wobble, but God's grace is greater still Intro Context: This comes hot on the heels of the assurances of chapter 15 The 'big picture' of Abram's life is that of faith. Yet there were significant wobbles. This in itself should deeply reassure us. 'If we are faithless, he remains faithful'. 1. Abram and Sarai see their circumstances as more real than God's promise, and take matters into their own hands (v1-6) Scholars wonder, was Hagar possibly a gift from Pharaoh? They'd lived in Canaan for 'ten years'; had their patience run out? It would be another fifteen years before Isaac was born. The sin of Eden again; God can't be right. Together they doubt him. v2 Abram listened to Sarai - ie rather than to the LORD. Perhaps a spell of 'darkness', dryness in his soul? Let us not doubt in the dark what God has told us in the light. v6 like Adam. Complacency, passivity. Our passage is like so many which show how disbelief leads to one disorder after another. It is harsh, let's not miss this. A pregnant, single servant lady. Banished. People of the promise can sadly, at times, be extraordinarily cruel. Application directions: We need to be more wary of this subtle pattern: Impatience, disappointment - doubts - human plans - discord - mess. Do you see how, if you are a couple, this can play out in your marriage? Waiting a long time? Wait longer. Those who wait for me will not be disappointed. These themes go together in the Bible; waiting, shame, disappointment. FCF: Disbelief. Tired of waiting. Circumstance more real than the promise. Abram goes along with it; like Adam with Eve. The problem not that he listened to his wife (!), but that he went along with her unbelief. Unbelief and autonomy lead, actually, to real jealousy, resentment, and thus cruelty and mistreatment of another human. Hagar had quite possibly known lovely relations with them previously, for all we know. 2. God shows his tender mercies to Hagar the outcast (v7-16) Shur was near border with Egypt. Hagar is fertile yet in a barren land; Sarai is barren yet in a fertile land. She is an outcast, since although she ran away we're to presume life had become truly unbearable with them. Think; life must have been truly awful to risk the open wilderness as a single pregnant woman. v7 angel of the LORD pursues in love. [link to relational effort ] First reference to 'angel of the LORD' in the Bible is here. 'Messenger' who speaks as God and with God's power and presence. The pre-incarnate Son. "The LORD has listened to your affliction" - precious compassion of Almighty God! Hagar the first woman to receive a birth announcement, and also to receive direct promise from the LORD. 'Also-sons' are ambiguous; a rival yet also blessed. Ishmael, cf Esau. It all depends how they will relate to God. Hagar's son will later foreshadow Egypt in the way he taunts Isaac. Paul's analogy in Galatians. Indeed part of the covenant of flesh, but enslaved to the law outside the promise, as was Ishmael living outside the land. By naming the LORD, Hagar shows an unexpected faith. Person of Jesus: The one who meets with the outcast. Who pursues those who have lost their way and been shunned. Those who have lost hope in community altogether. He meets us where we actually are, and speaks tenderly with us. We tend to miss this glorious reality as conservative types. cf 'do you see this woman?' (Luke 7.44, to Simon) Jesus is the 'Living One who sees me'. Work of Jesus: He becomes the outcast upon the cross. He is the greater Hagar, mistreated and cast out. Shamed and alone. He is the one taunted and treated with contempt by the people of the promise. He dies for our hard unbelief, to forgive our unbelief and to heal our hearts. God didn't love me when I decided to trust him; he loved me first, and pursued me, and purchased me with the blood of his son, and poured out his Spirit into my heart, and now I find myself trusting him. Union with Jesus: We know we are welcomed into God's place of blessing, and so we become people of blessing. People who are able to wait because we know for sure what is coming. I have died to unbelief, and now I live to faith and hope. 'Restless hope' Waiting a long time? Wait longer. Those who wait for me will not be disappointed. These themes go together in the Bible; waiting, shame, disappointment. Here is the NT lens on waiting: 'And hope does not disappoint us, since...' Since "something" has already happened. That's the point. Now, but not yet. We aren't waiting as our forefathers did. cf 1 Peter 1.10-12 or Matthew/Luke, 'blessed are your eyes and your ears'. God has delivered on his promises and accomplished them all in the death and resurrection of Jesus. So we know we will not be disappointed in Him. Wrap-up: Hagar is the Egyptian exodus in reverse. Maltreated, flees, is met by the LORD in the wilderness and blessed. Romans 4 says Abraham 'didn't waver in his faith' - that's the final analysis. The end counts more than the beginning (cf prisoner on the cross). Do I, today, take God at his word?