Hello Mummy Meditators!! And welcome to week 3 of our studies into Sarah. Last week Naomi helped us to understand a really tricky verse and story in Sarah’s life (catch it here is you missed it) and this week is another interesting one:
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Genesis 6:1-2
the story on the surface
From first reading this is an odd verse – and as mentioned by some of our Facebook community not a great poster verse for the bible!!! Sarah has got to the point where she is so desperate that she is suggesting her husband cheat on her in order to have a child. But why has it become so important that she has a child? We know that being barren would be a source of pain to her and possibly have implications for where their inheritance ends up, but surely you would just come to terms with it and get on with life, you wouldn’t send your husband to sleep with someone else?
But there is more to this story than that. When we read back to Genesis 12:1-3 we read that God has made some amazing promises to her husband Abraham. One of which is to make him a “great nation”, something which kind of requires offspring to achieve.
God has “forced my hand”
Did you take in Sarah’s words to Abraham here. She says “THE LORD has kept me from having children”. Now back in week 1 it was never mentioned that there was a reason she couldn’t conceive, but now that God has made some promises relating to this it becomes God’s fault that she can’t have kids! Sarah is blaming God for her problems and essentially blaming him for what she is about to suggest. In Sarah’s words “You’ve forced my hand – you want Abraham to be a great nation but you’ve made me sterile so I will have to make him sleep with my slave”. Great logic there!! But haven’t we all done this? Justified something because God has “caused” a situation and in our own heads it is the only way out, even if its something God would hate?
But I’m problem solving…
When God gives you something big to do, the human part of us wants to crack on and sort it out. As mums we kind of get where Sarah is coming from here – it is kind of logical. Abraham needs kids. I can’t have them. Maybe my slave can. We get the thought process but that doesn’t make the outcome right. It’s the same kind of logic that Aladdin uses in that Disney favourite – I’m hungry, I need bread, I have no money, so the only logical thing is to steal it. But that doesn’t make it right. Why don’t we trust God to provide the answer? God had given the promise but Sarah didn’t trust He was big enough to overcome her issue of childlessness.
If you read on a bit further from this verse, you will see that Hagar does indeed get pregnant from Abraham sleeping with her. Surely that’s great news?! But Sarah instantly regrets the decision and a whole new world of craziness between the two women emerges. Interestingly, the child whom Hagar bore was the patriarch of the Arab nations from which the Muslim religion finds its origins. So into the world, through one seemingly clever problem solving decision, comes a whole new set of complications and threats to the Jewish nation and to us even now today.
What can we learn here?
I think there are a few big things we can take from this story into our own lives:
- Never blame God for the bad things that happen in your life. Nothing good can come from that, and most of the time it is just life that has caused it to happen not God. Instead, look to God for the answer and the way out.
- If you have a problem ask God for the solution. And have the patience to wait for his answer instead of trying to solve the problem yourself. Doing it yourself can often have unexpected and unwanted complications.
- If God makes the promise, He will find a way to fulfill it.
Excitingly, next week is when God changes Sarah’s name from Sarai to Sarah in the verse:
“God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” Genesis 17:15-16
The lovely Naomi from the Organised Life Project will be leading discussions in our Facebook group, so if you want to join us and get your hands on our FREE workbook, phone lock screens and other resources then sign up below: