April 19 I Monday
2 Samuel 6-8
“[Sarai] said to Abram, ‘The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.’ Abram agreed to what Sarai said.” —Genesis 16:2
Have we ever made a choice, where at the time of making it, the decision seemed right, but as time goes on, after the decision is put into action, we realize that we actually made a wrong decision? This was the case for Sarai. She was aware of God’s promise to Abram to make him into a great nation and for his descendants to be as numerous as the stars in the sky, but as the years and decades went by without a child, Sarai not only concluded that God had kept her from having a child, but that the manner of fulfilling God’s promise was through her Egyptian slave, Hagar. Abram listened to what Sarai said; he slept with Hagar and she conceived.
All seemed to be going according to plan, but Genesis 16:4 tells us, “When [Hagar] knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.” Then Sarai accused Abram by saying, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me” (Genesis 16:5).
Sarai made her decision because she felt the Lord had kept her from having children. She hatched a plan, but it resulted in more pain, shame and devastation. The results of Sarai plan disrupted the family order. Sarai’s servant started to move into a position that was more favoured than Sarai, complicating Sarai’s marriage with Abram.
Sarai blamed God for her barrenness, blamed Abram for her misery and blamed Hagar when she conceived, but failed to blame herself, where her own planning brought about all her circumstances. It is interesting when a person sets their heart on a course of action that is outside of God’s plan, where the very thing that they wanted the most becomes the very thing that they despise the most once they have finally received it. Our lust, even for good things, when pursued outside of God’s plan, always results in pain.
Traps and snares are set when we wander and live by our own strength, whether it is a seared conscience as we increasingly embrace sinful behaviours and choices that take us away from God, or a gross disobedience that results in dramatic results. All forms of mistrust, lack of faith and living by our own flesh have devastating consequences. When we sow in disobedience it always reaps some consequences. May the decisions and choices that we make always be rooted in the truth of God’s Word and His promises that never fail, so we do not fall into regrettable situations.
Prayer: Lord God, guide me in the decisions that I make, may they be rooted in the truth of Your Word and not in my fleshly lusts and desires. Thank You, Lord.