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April 20 I Tuesday

2 Samuel 9-11

Luke 15:11-32

 

“‘Your slave is in your hands,’ Abram said. ‘Do with her whatever you think best.’ Then Sarai ill-treated Hagar; so she fled from her.”  —Genesis 16:6

 

Have we ever been caught up in a problem that we had no control over? In Sarai’s plan to fulfill God’s promise, she told her husband Abram to sleep with her servant Hagar so that she could have a family through her. Although things were going according to Sarai’s plan, she became angry with the consequences. In response to Sarai’s frustration, Abram tells her, “…do with [Hagar] whatever you think best.” Sarai mistreated Hagar, where the Hebrew word used for “ill-treated” in Genesis 16:6 is exactly the same word used in Genesis 15:13 when the Lord told Abram, “your descendants will…be enslaved and ill-treated.” From the usage of the word, we could imagine how severe the mistreatment of Sarai was towards Hagar to the point of Hagar fleeing for her life.

           Hagar had no real choice in the whole situation; she was just a pawn in the plan. As Hagar ran back to Egypt, to her land of origin, she encountered the angel of the Lord near a spring in the desert. He asked, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” Hagar answers, “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai” (Genesis 16:8). This was an exceptional moment. In the Old Testament time, slaves had no rights, influence, power or position. They were, for all intents and purposes, invisible. Nobody would focus on them, but God saw the mistreatment of Hagar and stepped into the story.

       God began to redeem Sarai’s broken plan and made Hagar a part of His plan. He told Hagar, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her. I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count…you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery” (Genesis 16:9-11). God not only prophesied to Hagar about her child, but He also blessed him.

       Overwhelmed by this interaction, Hagar gave this name to the Lord, “You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). The Hebrew word for “see” means, “to look at intently, to notice, to have regards for, take concern for, give attention to, value.” This was a powerful moment. In a world that would never even notice Hagar, God chose to reveal Himself to a slave and permitted her to be the first one in all of Scripture to ascribe a name to Him.

       Hagar returned to Abram and Sarai a different person. No longer had she simply heard of the God of Abram, she had now experienced Him for herself. Hagar was forever changed by the God who saw her.

 

Prayer: Lord God Almighty, thank You for You are a God who sees me, takes notice of me and gives attention to me. May I, like Hagar, be changed by the knowledge of this amazing grace.

 


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