Psalm 22:23-31; Genesis 16:1-6; Romans 4:1-12 (read online ⧉)
The story of Sarai and Hagar is strange. Did Abram not trust God to give him a son through Sarai? Or did they (Abram and Sarai) assume that as Sarai was not conceiving that this would be fulfilled through Hagar? It wasn’t, from their perspective, unreasonable. Yet, as we know by reading further along in Genesis, that this really wasn’t God’s intent for Abram and Sarai.
Abram and Sarai rushed God’s plan. That is not to say that Abram was not being faithful or not trusting God, but that his limited understanding caused him to follow a path that was not God’s intent. Paul suggests that the union of Abram and Haggar was an event of human works. It is only the union of Abram and Sarai that truly fulfills the promises of God to Abram.
Another way to say this is that God blessed Abram’s union with Hagar, because Abram was still in relationship with God. However, the fulfillment of God’s promise and blessing was fulfilled through Abram and Sarai.
- Have you ever rushed God’s plan?
- Has God ever honored a decision you made, despite it not being what God revealed to you? If so, once you got back on the path God laid out for you, what happened?
- Why do we tend to trust that we “know” in the physical world (such as Abram and Hagar having a child), rather than trusting in God’s promises (such as Abram and Sarai having a child)?