Scripture – What stood out?

Genesis 16:5 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 the Lord judge between you and me!”


Observation – What does it say?

Ten years had passed in the land of Canaan where God had promised to give Abram and Sarai an heir. Already passed their child bearing prime and beginning to doubt God’s promise Sarai and Abram decide to take matters into their own hands.They decide to use Hagar, Sarai’s servant, to create an heir that clearly was no longer on the way.


Understanding – What does it mean?

Ten years is a long time. To wait for anything. In a culture where having an heir and having offspring period was a necessity, I can only imagine the weight of waiting growing heavier each day that passed in Abram and Sarai’s already old age. And so the hatch and execute this plot to speed up God’s process.


Only it backfires.


Sarai had not expected Hagar to treat her with contempt (other translations use the word despise as something trifling) due to her impending and expected rise in status within the home about to deliver Abram’s only child. And in the heat of one of these moments Sarai cries out to her husband – DO SOMETHING!


Abram informs his wife of her own empowerment, Hagar runs away, and an angel of the Lord tells her to go back to Sarai and submit


Hagar looks on Sarai with contempt, because in certain respects she was about to rise above her boss. And so I wonder how God felt, when he promises this elderly couple a child and they…choose not to wait on his promise. I wonder if God maybe felt that Sarai and Abram had treated His promise with contempt, perhaps despising it as something trifling.


Life Application How can I apply this to my life today?

I believe God was trying to teach Sarai and her husband a lesson through Hagar. I don’t know what it would be like to live with an “enemy” in my home for 14 years. It sounds like torture. But I believe God’s ultimate message to Sarai is very similar to His message to Hagar – submit. Hagar was required to submit to Sarai. Sarai was required to submit to God. He had promised her a child, and had required her submission, he had required her to wait. 


And so Lord I ask you to reveal an area of my life where I have been disobedient to you. Where have I treated Your promise as trifling? Forgive me for my sin. Help me to follow in obedience. Help me to submit to You.


In the name of Jesus do I pray, amen.

-kenneh lee